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3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th


Science, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Type

  • Videos, 2 minutes, 1 second, CC, Subtitles

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PDF, Downloadable MP4/M4V

What's the Difference Between Weather and Climate

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  • This video examines the difference between weather and climate, how NASA observes changes in the Earth's climate, and evidence that global warming is occurring.
  • Students will learn that weather and climate cover different time ranges, NASA uses satellites to observe changes in Earth's climate, and rising sea levels provide evidence that global warming is happening.
Teaching Tips


  • This video presents a lot of information for students without being lengthy or overwhelming.
  • Keeping the poster of the video's animations up in the classroom is an excellent way to reinforce and remind students of the concepts they learned.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students need to be familiar with Antarctica and Greenland and the fact that there are ice sheets in these locations.
  • Students need to understand the concept of orbiting and know what a satellite is.


  • Teachers can pause the video and check for comprehension by asking students to define weather and climate or give examples of how we know the climate is changing.
  • Teachers can use this video as a conceptual introduction to extreme weather events and their connection to climate change.
  • This video can enhance a lesson on biomes and their corresponding climates.
  • This video can supplement a lesson about the Antarctic ice sheet and its importance.
Scientist Notes
While related, climate and weather are not the same. This brief video from NASA explains how they are different and how they are keeping track of the changes with satellites. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.2 Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.3.2 Determine the main ideas and supporting details of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • 3-ESS2-2 Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 5-ESS3-1 Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.10.3-5 Explain why environmental characteristics vary among different world regions.
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