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


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Geography

Resource Types

  • Videos, 1 minute, 13 seconds, CC
  • Lesson Plans, 65-80 minutes
  • Worksheets
  • Experiments

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West, Polar Regions


Google Docs, PDF

Youth Climate Story: Arctic Warming and Coastal Erosion in Alaska

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  • This resource includes a video, lesson plan, experiment, and student worksheet on arctic warming and the effects of melting ice. 
  • In the video, Nelson, a teenager who lives in Kipnuk, Alaska, describes how melting permafrost and coastal erosion pose a risk to his village. 
  • The experiment will show students why melting land ice causes sea level rise, while melting sea ice does not. 
Teaching Tips


  • The student worksheet contains a number of critical thinking questions that will help students to connect the experiment with climate change in the real world.
  • Clicking on the text "Lesson Plan: Is Ice, Ice Baby?" allows the teacher access the lesson plan and student worksheet as a Google Doc or a PDF.

Additional Prerequisites:

  • The video does not explain what permafrost is or why it is melting. This resource provides background material on permafrost.
  • Teachers must create a free account to see the lesson plan but the video is available without signing in.


  • Social studies classes could use the video to discuss the impact of global warming on Nelson's village. Students can learn more about this topic with this SubjectToClimate lesson on climate change and indigenous communities.
  • Geography classes could locate Kipnuk on a map and discuss how the natural features of the land are connected to the community's culture. Students could write a short paragraph on how erosion will impact the community's culture.
  • Other resources on this topic include this graph on Arctic and Antarctic ice and this video on how climate change has impacted the lives of the Iñupiaq people in Barrow, Alaska. 
Scientist Notes

There is no contradiction in the resource and it is recommended for teaching.

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS-ESS2-2 Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
      • HS-ESS2-5 Plan and conduct an investigation of the properties of water and its effects on Earth materials and surface processes.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-2 Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.
      • HS-ESS3-6 Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
    • PS1: Matter and its Interactions
      • MS-PS1-4 Develop a model that predicts and describes changes in particle motion, temperature, and state of a pure substance when thermal energy is added or removed.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.4.6-8 Explain how cultural patterns and economic decisions influence environments and the daily lives of people in both nearby and distant places.
      • D2.Geo.10.9-12 Evaluate how changes in the environmental and cultural characteristics of a place or region influence spatial patterns of trade and land use.
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