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Author

Nathaniel Manning

Grades

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

Subjects

Science, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Engineering

Resource Types

  • Videos, 3 minutes, 55 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Interactive Media
  • Assessments
  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus

Global

The Carbon Cycle

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Synopsis
  • This informative TED-Ed video details many of the ways that carbon dioxide gets into and out of Earth's atmosphere in the carbon cycle. 
  • It features a quick examination of how the simultaneous practices of  burning fossil fuels and deforestation can push ecosystems out of balance. 
  • The visuals and creative animations make this content accessible to a wide range of learners.
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • The straightforward delivery of information in this video can help students make quick sense of frequently misunderstood concepts embedded in the carbon cycle. 
  • The part that addresses innovation in order to address climate change can serve as a launching point for a variety of design activities for students.

Additional Prerequisites

  • If interested in providing deeper context beforehand, students could be familiarized with concepts related to the industrial revolution, ecosystems, sustainable technology, and closed versus open cycles on Earth. 

Differentiation

  • Invite students to take a closer look at some reasons for deforestation along with strategies that can be employed to slow it down. For a deeper look at one impacted region, check out this lesson. 
  • Allow students to view relevant emissions data while pinpointing geography with this interactive resource.
  • Have your class discuss approaches to retraining workforces while solving energy needs to slow the burning of fossil fuels. 
  • This video mentions pushing the boundaries of innovation to solve pressing problems. Challenge students to get creative and dream up a possible solution to slow or reverse climate change. Give them the opportunity to then design their solution on paper, in slides, or in a physical form before inviting them to share. 
  • For a list of impactful climate solutions, check out this table of solutions or take a look at these other resources about solutions that address more than just climate change.
Scientist Notes
This resource presents the carbon cycle and its processes and interactions between the biosphere, atmosphere, lithosphere, and hydrosphere. There is no contradiction in the video and it is recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • MS-ESS2-1 Develop a model to describe the cycling of Earth's materials and the flow of energy that drives this process.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-5 Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
    • LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
      • MS-LS1-6 Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and flow of energy into and out of organisms.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-5 Develop a model to illustrate the role of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in the cycling of carbon among the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere.
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