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Database Provider

Author

Science Journal for Kids

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th

Subjects

Science, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, English Language Arts

Resource Types

  • Scientific Papers or Reports
  • Assessments
  • Videos, 4 minutes, 52 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Videos, 2 minutes, 25 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Videos, 2 minutes, 59 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Videos, 1 minute, 56 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Videos, 9 minutes, 26 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Worksheets

Regional Focus

Global, North America, Europe

Format

PDF

Why Are Whales in Trouble — Again?

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Synopsis
  • In this scientific paper, students learn why whales are important to ocean ecosystems and how researchers used physical and observational data to determine the connections between climate change and changes in the North Atlantic Right Whale population over time.
  • Students read an adapted scientific article about the research, answer relevant questions, and watch three short videos about whale populations and the effects of climate change on whales.
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • The adapted paper includes the abstract, introduction, methods, results, and discussion in an accessible and easy-to-understand format, making it a great introduction to reading scientific papers.
  • A glossary of key terms for students is included in the article.

Additional Prerequisites

  • To access the teacher's key, teachers must fill in a form with their name, email, and school information.
  • Students should know how to read and interpret graphs and maps.
  • There is an audio version of the paper, a link to the original paper, and a video describing the resources available on the website.
  • The article is also available in Bulgarian.

Differentiation

  • It may be helpful for some students to use the audio version of the article found at the bottom of the webpage.
  • More advanced students can also read the full scientific paper, available on the webpage. Have them compare the level of detail, content, and language used in each to see if any information was left out or abbreviated in the adapted form.
  • Although the videos add context to the paper, they are not required to understand the paper or to answer the questions included.
  • Although not mentioned in the article, students must understand that the largest impact in solving climate change and protecting the whales would come from policy changes that would enact the solutions presented, which is discussed in the "What do Whales Eat?" video.
  • This resource can also be used in marine science classes during lessons about the effects of climate change and other human activities on marine ecosystems.
Scientist Notes
Humans nearly hunted whales to extinction, but environmental laws and regulations have helped many species recover. However, climate change is making it harder for some species to grow their populations. This resource is well researched and all information is cited. It is recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
      • HS-ESS3-3 Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.
    • LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
      • HS-LS4-5 Evaluate the evidence supporting claims that changes in environmental conditions may result in: (1) increases in the number of individuals of some species, (2) the emergence of new species over time, and (3) the extinction of other species.
      • HS-LS4-6 Create or revise a simulation to test a solution to mitigate adverse impacts of human activity on biodiversity.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.7 Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.4 Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9-10 texts and topics.
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