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OER Project


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


Science, Social Studies, Biology, History, English Language Arts

Resource Types

  • Videos, 11 minutes, 48 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Worksheets
  • Lesson Plans
  • Activity - Classroom
  • Assessments

Regional Focus




The Anthropocene

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  • This course discusses the reasons why some geologists are now referring to this time in history as a new epoch, the Anthropocene, due to the overwhelming effects humanity has had on the biosphere over the last 250 years.
  • It includes a video, a vocabulary worksheet, articles, reading guides, a graph interpretation worksheet, a writing assignment, and an assessment.
Teaching Tips


  • This resource does a great job of summarizing information, activating prior knowledge, helping students think critically, and allowing students to work on their reading and writing skills.
  • Students can test their knowledge at the end with the interactive assessment.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers and students will need to set up an account using an email address in order to access the material.
  • This is part of a series of courses provided by OER.
  • The PDF worksheets are available for download to print off for students.
  • Students will need access to a computer and Internet connection to use the online features.


  • Middle school students will benefit from the vocabulary worksheet, summaries, and guided reading sheets.
  • High school students could have discussions about the topics covered to gain additional understanding and insights.
  • Math classes could use the graph and worksheet presented as an example of plotting data over time and calculating slope.
  • As an extension, have students use this interactive data resource to investigate the drivers of climate change for the world or for specific countries.
  • Biology classes can connect this lesson to biodiversity loss, the sixth mass extinction event,and habitat loss.
  • Social studies classes could expand on the connections between climate change and access to education and equality.
Scientist Notes
This resource outlines the rising complexity in the Anthropocene and compares this with the Holocene epoch. Students can gain deep insights by comparing these geologic periods, including their benefits. Recommended for teaching.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-4. Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
    • LS2: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics Within Ecosystems
      • MS-LS2-1. Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
    • LS4: Biological Evolution
      • 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.
  • 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.9-10.2 Objectively and accurately summarize texts, from a variety of genres, to determine one or more themes or central ideas and analyze its development, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details. (RI&RL)
  • Social Studies
    • Geography
      • SS.Geog2.a.m Analyze why populations increase or decrease in various regions throughout the world. Analyze the distribution of population patterns at various scales (e.g., local, state, country, region).
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