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6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Earth and Space Sciences, English Language Arts

Resource Types

  • Interactive Media
  • Videos, 3 minutes, 32 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Ebooks
  • Assessments

Regional Focus

North America, Asia

Short-Term Climate Change

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  • This online text describes El Niño and La Niña weather events and provides informative infographics, vocabulary terms, interactive questions, a summary, study guide, and overview.
  • The video highlights the connections between global warming and unusual weather patterns but also the debate around making those connections, including a video from 2008 that shows not everyone wanted to attribute changing weather patterns to global warming.
Teaching Tips


  • Students engage with clearly outlined information and can hover over vocabulary terms to see their definitions. 
  • The video may spark debate or comments from students, which can get them participating in class.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should have a basic understanding of global warming.
  • Teachers and students will need to sign in to use some of the interactive features.
  • Note that the embedded video is from 2008. Advise your students to critically think about how things have changed since 2008.


  • The information can be gained in different ways to ensure understanding (videos, text, and text summaries).
  • When signed in, students have access to a toolbar where they can highlight, note-taking, view summaries, and additional resources about the chapter. 
  • Consider extending this lesson by having students watch Doubt and The Cost of Carbon and then reevaluating the video from the text.  Students can write reflection or response papers to these videos to complete the lesson.
  • Social studies classes can discuss risk analyses and cost-benefit analyses associated with acting on climate or continuing with "business as usual" to demonstrate that acting on climate is a win-win scenario that reduces risks.
Scientist Notes
The resource explains in detail the most common feature that causes short-term variability in climate (El Niño and La Niño). This is caused by interactions of atmospheric circulations, winds, and ocean currents. Thus, there is no contradiction in the resource. It is recommended for teaching.
  • Science
    • 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.
      • MS-ESS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
  • English Language Arts
    • Reading (K-12)
      • R.8.1 Cite textual evidence that strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly/implicitly and make logical inferences. (RI&RL)
      • R.8.2 Summarize texts, from a variety of genres, to determine one or more themes or central ideas and analyze their development over the course of the text. (RI&RL)
  • Social Studies
    • Geography
      • SS.Geog1.b.m Interpret patterns in a variety of maps, charts, and graphs to display geographic information (contour, cartogram, population, natural resource, historical maps) and explain relationships among them.
  • Related Resources


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