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The Kid Should See This, National Geographic


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


Science, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Types

  • Videos, 2 minutes, 10 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus


The Difference Between Weather and Climate Change

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  • In this video, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson explains the difference between weather and climate and discusses the global forces driving climate change. 
  • The resource includes a short article with links to helpful information. 
Teaching Tips


  • The video uses a helpful metaphor of a man walking a dog to illustrate fluctuations and trends in weather data.
  • The video provides a concise introduction to weather and climate.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with the terms dire, meandering, and fluctuating.


  • Math classes could use this video as a real-world example of trendlines and data variability. Teachers could use the data in this interactive chart, which shows global average temperature anomalies, to discuss how fluctuations in weather do not directly correspond to the long-term changes in climate.
  • This video pairs well with this SubjectToClimate lesson plan that uses temperature data to teach trends and variability.
  • Other resources on this topic include this CK-12 video and activity on weather and climate, this NASA article on weather and climate change, this Crash Course video on weather patterns and climate trends, and this Hot Mess video on the real reason people confuse weather and climate.
Scientist Notes
This resource consists of a video with an accompanying text that presents an easy-to-understand metaphor for understanding the difference between weather and climate. While walking with a dog on a beach in a straight line, the path of a human is straight and represents the long-term trend that is our climate. The chaotic meandering of a curious dog zigs and zags all over the place and represents the short-term fluctuations in weather. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • MS-ESS2-6 Develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates.
      • HS-ESS2-4 Use a model to describe how variations in the flow of energy into and out of Earth’s systems result in changes in climate.
    • 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.
      • HS-ESS3-5 Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems.
  • Common Core Math Standards (CCSS.MATH)
    • Statistics & Probability (6-8)
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.8.SP.A.1 Construct and interpret scatter plots for bivariate measurement data to investigate patterns of association between two quantities. Describe patterns such as clustering, outliers, positive or negative association, linear association, and nonlinear association.
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