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Crash Course


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


Science, Social Studies, Biology, History, Geography

Resource Type

  • Videos, 10 minutes, 8 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus


Climate Change, Chaos, and The Little Ice Age

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  • This video examines a period of global cooling that took place on Earth from the 13th to the 19th century. 
  • It emphasizes the impacts that this change in climate had on societies including famine, war, exploration, political upheaval, and technological innovations.
Teaching Tips


  • This video provides connections between interdisciplinary topics while emphasizing that all of these history-shaping events had direct ties to the climate. 
  • It presents a clear picture of people shaping their environment while their environment is shaping them.   

Additional Prerequisites 

  • Providing students with information on the transition from Ming to Qing dynasties in China, the low-lying geography of the Netherlands, or the North American settlements of the Vikings would help to deepen understandings. 


  • Recent research into the causes of The Little Ice Age have given scientists more insight. Have your students dig into this topic and draw parallels to what our climate data is showing today.  
  • Climate change preceding political upheaval happens in current times. Invite students to look at the climatic conditions in Syria and the surrounding region prior to the 2011 uprising that sparked a civil war. 
  • Success or failure of those who lived during this era often came down to innovation. Ask students to utilize data related to climate policy, investigate sustainable industrial products, or examine new approaches that may provide a pathway forward to enacting climate solutions.
Scientist Notes
The Little Ice Age is a well documented climate shift starting in the 13th century and lasting for about 500 years. The impacts of this shift are well documented in the peer reviewed literature, as are the lines of evidence of its existence. This resource is recommended for teaching.
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      • 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.
    • LS4: Biological Evolution
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      • SL.11-12.3 Understand and evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
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