Educational Resources

We have compiled websites that contain teaching materials such as videos, in-class activities, extra reading for teachers and students related to evolution and climate change. The materials differ in grade level accessibility but most are very useful references. Most of the links also contain additional links to other teaching resource sites.

K-12 Summer Camps

Ancient Environments

Oceans of Ohio

  • This inquiry-based exercise introduces students to Cincinnatian fossils through a 5E cycle lesson plan that teaches students to observe fossil data, classify organisms, reconstructing ancient environments. From Alycia Stigall’s Ordovician Atlas project.

Atmosphere

University Corporation for Atmospheric Research: Atmospheric Processes: Convection

  • A two-part activity that teaches students about convection through a fun hands-on activity. Appropriate for grades 5-9.

All About Oxygen

  • Informational page with useful diagrams that explores oxygen and its role in the environment, your health, and more!

Biogeography

Seed Dispersal in Tropical Rain Forests

  • Downloadable content from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s BioInteractive page for undergraduate students. The activity uses real data from published literature to understand seed dispersal and the factors that affect dispersal patterns. They then apply these concepts to conservation of forests.

Climate Change

Teacher-Friendly Guide to Climate Change

  • Hard copy is for purchase on the Paleontological Research Institution’s webpage through the link but the pdf is freely available for download. After a detailed introduction and background section that provides a basis for what climate and climate change is, the book provides a focus on the evidence that humans are influencing climate change and how scientists collect, analyze, and understand this data.

Climate Education for K-12

  • This website was designed by students at North Carolina State University to help educators understand climate and weather concepts and to be able to incorporate the learning material from this site into their course curriculum using examples as aids for learning. It is also useful for anyone else who wants a basic understanding of weather and climate, especially in the southeastern United States.

Climate Change 101

  • Climate and climate change are complex topics, this resource provides information with commonly asked questions. The answers to these questions are evidence-based and provides suggestions for how to mitigate climate change.

Global Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet

  • NASA’s comprehensive list of educational resources for educators. This list includes lesson plans, interactive games, teaching resources from a variety of reputable sources.

United States Department of Agriculture: Climate Hubs

  • The USDA’s Climate Hub offers a variety of information on the different climate areas of the United States. This ranges from facts about each region, tools for exploring climate, and resources to make scientifically informed decisions about your region’s climate.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s EarthViewer

  • Explore what the Earth looked like hundreds of millions of years ago and explore changes in climate during the Earth’s history. EarthViewer is an interactive tool for exploring the science of Earth’s deep history. Click here to use EarthViewer in your web-browser.

World Climate Climate Negotiations Game

  • An in-class role playing exercise of the UN climate change negotiations for groups of students. Made to build climate change awareness and expose students to the dynamics that emerge in the UN climate negotiations. All materials for the activity are available on the website.

Earth System Education

Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE)

  • The DLESE provides a database with teaching and learning resources publicly available online. These resources include lesson plans, real scientific data, and virtual field trips. The database allows the user to cater their search to various topics such as education level, subject, or resource type.

Evolution

Understanding Evolution: Your one-stop source for information on evolution

  • This website housed through the University of California, Berkeley provides a crash course in evolution, teaching materials (lesson plans and information), and a searchable resource library.

National Center for Science Education: Evolution

  • The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) is devoted to aiding teachers gain the skills, knowledge, and support to teach evolution effectively. The NCSE understands the challenges and provides helpful information on how to combat the misconceptions surrounding evolutionary theory.

Evolution of Life Activities

  • Several activities related to evolution, as well a general paleontology. Suitable for various age groups.

Explorations Through Time

  • Lesson plans for K-12 students related to life on Earth, how life evolved, and the fossil record.

General Paleontology

Paleontology and Scientific Literacy

  • Educational resources for how to incorporate paleontology into the classroom and how to deal with public misconceptions that surround evolutionary theory.

Tapping Educational Resources

  • This section includes information on museums, paleontology, real and virtual experiences, and how to take advantage of museum collections that are available online

Learning from the Fossil Record

  • Immense amount of information from topographic models, sea floor spreading, dinosaurs, mammoths, phylogeny, microfossils, and paleoecology!

The Paleontology Portal

  • A site that hosts an array of K-12 classroom resources, fossil images, information about paleontology-related careers, and interviews with paleontologists.

Geologic Time

Geologic Time

  • This inquiry-based exercise introduces students to the magnitude of geologic time and major events that transpired during Earth history. From Alycia Stigall’s Ordovician Atlas project.

Interactive Geologic Time Scale

  • University of California Museum of Paleontology’s virtual engaging geologic time scale.

Invasive Species

Survival Game

  • This inquiry-based exercise leverages Cincinnati fossils to investigate invasive species dynamics in the modern ecosystem through a 5E cycle lesson plan that teaches students to observe patterns and generalize processes of competition and ecosystem dynamics.From Alycia Stigall’s Ordovician Atlas project.

Ocean Acidification

Understanding Ocean Acidification

  • A website containing hands-on activities and videos related to pH, dissolution, and links to NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Lessons. Most are designed for K-12 students.

Stanford University’s Virtual Urchin

  • An interactive slide show that includes data on ocean acidification and activities to explore the consequences of increased carbon dioxide in our atmosphere and oceans. Appropriate for upper level middle school to high school students.

Scripps Classroom Connection Seawater Acid-Base Chemistry and Ocean Acidification

  • A 5-part lesson plan appropriate for upper level middle school to high school students to learn about acids and bases through ocean acidification.

NOAA Okeanos Explorer Educational Materials Collection-Why do we explore?

  • Educational materials, modules, and lesson plans that give students insight into why we explore our oceans and cover key topics such as climate change and ocean health. Lesson plans are created for specific grade levels.

Ocean Circulation

SERC at Carleton College Ocean Circulation

  • Appropriate for freshman-sophomore students in an Introduction to Oceanography class. Uses real-world data to teach students about ocean current through drifting buoy data and satellite image data.

Science Buddies Ocean Currents: Modeling the Global Conveyor Belt

  • This in-class activity models how thermohaline circulation works using a candle, water, and glassware. Appropriate for grades 5-8.

Discovery Education: Understanding Oceans

  • Through hands-on activities as well as internet resources, students learn how ocean currents operate, how they affect weather and life, and convection. Appropriate and modifiable for a range of grades and ages.

Scientific Ocean Drilling

JOIDES Resolution Lesson Plans

  • The International Ocean Discovery Program website hosts an array of classroom activities appropriate for K-12 students. These lessons focus on aspects of scientific ocean drilling, such as density of ocean crust, core description, climate change, drilling through ocean crust, and aspects of paleontology.

Other

The National Center for Science Education Teachers Section

Evolution: Education and Outreach

  • Evolution: Education and Outreach is an open access journal that provides a reference for accurate understanding and teaching of evolutionary theory for a broad audience. This journal targets both the academic community and K-16 teachers. Being open access allows educators of all levels the ability to explore recent advances in evolutionary science, teaching tools, and lesson plans.

Evolution Education

  • A collaborative project started at the University of Virginia between scientists and the public. The project focuses on developing and providing inquiry-based models for education to provide a more engaging scientific experience for young students and help teachers be more effective evolution educators.

National Geographic Teaching Resources

  • Includes activities, lesson plans, and units (sequences of lessons thematically related) that are searchable by grade, type, and subject.

Understanding Science

  • Site that explains what science is, with resources for teachers and a resource library.