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Washington Post


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Biology, Visual and Performing Arts

Resource Types

  • Interactive Media
  • Artwork

Regional Focus

North America, Oceania, Africa, Europe, Polar Regions

The Urgency of Awe: 10 Striking Photos of Nature as the World Faces Climate Crises

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  • This series of photographs highlights the effects human behavior has on wildlife and their habitats, bringing more attention to the climate crisis.
  • The photographs are accompanied by captions and text to provide additional context.
Teaching Tips


  • The photographs are stunning and show a diversity of wildlife.
  • A variety of regions are represented including the United States, Australia, the Arctic, South Africa, Antarctica, and Europe.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Some of the photographs, such as the dehorned rhino, might be difficult for students to view. A social and emotional check-in can be conducted to address some of the more upsetting photographs.
  • Ads may appear as you scroll through the series.


  • Students can search for other images that demonstrate human-caused damage to wildlife or environments and do research to provide more context for the photograph.
  • Students in writing classes can create fictional stories from the perspective of an animal in one of the photographs.
  • Students in art classes can create hopeful images of the same animals from the photographs but in an environmentally sustainable future.
  • Other resources related to these topics include this gallery of climate-related photographs and this digital text that explains seven principles for effective visual climate communication.
Scientist Notes
This resource features images of creatures that are threatened by the environment and extreme weather. It presents a chance to take proactive steps to save and care for all animal species to mitigate the effects of approaching climate change. This tool is excellent for classroom use.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-6 Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.3 Analyze how the author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced and developed, and the connections that are drawn between them.
  • National Core Arts Standards
    • Visual Arts: Standard 7 - Perceive and analyze artistic work.
      • VA:Re7.2.Ia Analyze how one’s understanding of the world is affected by experiencing visual imagery.
      • VA:Re7.2.IIa Evaluate the effectiveness of an image or images to influence ideas, feelings, and behaviors of specific audiences.
  • Related Resources


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