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
- 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.
- A two-part activity that teaches students about convection through a fun hands-on activity. Appropriate for grades 5-9.
- Informational page with useful diagrams that explores oxygen and its role in the environment, your health, and more!
- Adaptable lesson plan targeting 3rd grade students to explore species diversity and classification of living things. Students observe images of fossil shells, ask questions about those fossils, and sort the fossils into categories based on their physical characteristics.
- Students figure out why fossil marine shells are found on land and why they vary from place to place. The activity uses as an example a set of species found in the fossil record in the Tamiami formation in southern Florida. Using data from the fossil record, they examine the spread of those species across the southeastern United States 3 million years ago, and the existence or extinction of those species over time.
- 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.
- 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.
- CLEAN is a network and website that houses 700+ free and ready-to-use learning resources related to climate change and energy. Lessons include learning how the Sun’s energy drives the climate system, how humans are impacting the climate system, and how climate varies on different time scales, plus several others.
- 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 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.
- NASA’s comprehensive list of educational resources for educators. This list includes lesson plans, interactive games, teaching resources from a variety of reputable sources.
- 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.
- On this site are links to several different lesson plans that deal with teaching students about climate change through misconceptions.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Several activities related to evolution, as well a general paleontology. Suitable for various age groups.
- Lesson plans for K-12 students related to life on Earth, how life evolved, and the fossil record.
- Educational resources for how to incorporate paleontology into the classroom and how to deal with public misconceptions that surround evolutionary theory.
- This section includes information on museums, paleontology, real and virtual experiences, and how to take advantage of museum collections that are available online
- Immense amount of information from topographic models, sea floor spreading, dinosaurs, mammoths, phylogeny, microfossils, and paleoecology!
- A site that hosts an array of K-12 classroom resources, fossil images, information about paleontology-related careers, and interviews with paleontologists.
- This is an open access textbook introducing the primary concepts of science and geology. Terms are defined in pop-up boxes as you move through the material so that you can easily continue moving forward without being held up by terminology.
- 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.
- University of California Museum of Paleontology’s virtual engaging geologic time scale.
- 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.
Maps and Map Resources
- AnyplaceAmerica.com features topographic maps from the USGS organized by points of interest, land features, and man-made features that are searchable by state and county. PDF files of topographic maps are free, with the option to order water-proof printed maps. The site also contains images of features, as well as historical weather patterns!
- 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.
- 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.
- A 5-part lesson plan appropriate for upper level middle school to high school students to learn about acids and bases through ocean acidification.
- 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.
- 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.
- This in-class activity models how thermohaline circulation works using a candle, water, and glassware. Appropriate for grades 5-8.
- 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
- 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.
- The American Meteorological Society holds summer workshops for K-12 educators to receive hands-on training in STEM education. These workshops are two weeks long and are all expenses paid.
- This page provides several things, new programs that you can enroll in (NCSEteach & Scientist in the Classroom), troubleshooting advice for Dealing with Denial, and an immense amount of resources for teaching contentious issues such as evolution and climate change.
- 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.
- 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.
- Includes activities, lesson plans, and units (sequences of lessons thematically related) that are searchable by grade, type, and subject.
- Site that explains what science is, with resources for teachers and a resource library.