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OER Project


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


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

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans
  • Activity - Classroom
  • Worksheets
  • Videos, 13 minutes, 54 seconds, CC
  • Videos, 3 minutes, 38 seconds, CC
  • Videos, 5 minutes, 16 seconds, CC
  • Articles and Websites
  • Assessments

Regional Focus




The Biosphere

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  • This course about the biosphere discusses the effects of globalization and human population growth on society and the environment, the effects of climate change on various communities, what living on Mars would actually be like, and what the future might be like on Earth.
  • It includes videos, a vocabulary worksheet, a natural disasters activity, a graph interpretation group activity, and a writing assignment.
Teaching Tips


  • This resource does a great job of activating prior knowledge, helping students think critically, and inspiring them to think about the future.

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 in their Big History collection.
  • 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 and summaries.
  • High school students could use the "Thinking Conceptually" sections as a starting point for more in-depth discussions or debates on the topics.
  • Economics classes could discuss the connections between globalization, economic growth, and the depletion of the Earth's natural resources, particularly since our planet is finite, it contains a limited number of resources, and life on Earth depends on a certain level of biological and ecological diversity. 
  • Other resources related to this topic include this video about biodiversity and humans, this interactive resource about wildlife conservation, this StC lesson plan about deforestation, and this lesson about fisheries.
Scientist Notes
The severity of natural disaster events is highly connected to human activities. Students can explore this resource to understand the level of human impact on the biosphere at different timelines. This is recommended for teaching.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-1. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
    • LS2: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics Within Ecosystems
      • MS-LS2-4. Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • 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.
    • Writing (K-12)
      • W.9.10.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • Related Resources


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