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The Kid Should See This, PBS Terra


3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Biology

Resource Types

  • Video, 9 minutes, 46 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Article

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West, Oregon

Can Beavers Help Mitigate Wildfire and Drought?

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  • This video explains how beavers can help restore habitats, minimize wildfires, and fight droughts. 
  • Students will learn that beaver dams store water and carbon and improve water quality. 
  • Climate change and human activity have degraded many habitats, making it hard for beavers to survive, but scientists are now working to reintroduce beavers into several river ecosystems. 
Teaching Tips


  • A short article below the video provides links to relevant sources.
  • Students will learn from the scientists who are studying and working with the beavers.
  • This engaging video uses animation as well as historic and present-day video footage to illustrate certain concepts.

Additional Prerequisites

  • There may be ads during the video.
  • Students should have a basic understanding of ecosystems and keystone species.


  • Teachers could use this video in a biology class when discussing climate change and keystone species.
  • Science classes could research other biomimicry climate change solutions.
  • Other resources on this topic include this video and article on how scientists can use nature to help restore ecosystems, this video on the adverse impacts of human activity on the water cycle, and this video on how wildfires are affecting Oregon.
Scientist Notes
This resource is a 10-minute video and article that examines how beavers can strengthen and manage healthy stream ecosystems. Beavers and their dams can retain water, enhance ecosystem health and resilience, and even reduce the damage done by droughts and fires. This resource is a comprehensive and hopeful look at a promising way to use natural resources (here, beavers) to restore habitats and enhance climate resilience. This resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 3-ESS3-1. Make a claim about the merit of a design solution that reduces the impacts of a weather-related hazard.
      • 5-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
      • MS-ESS3-4. Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
      • HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-4. Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
      • MS-LS2-5. Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
      • 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.
      • HS-LS2-6. Evaluate claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
      • HS-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
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