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Probable Futures


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


Science, Earth and Space Sciences, English Language Arts

Resource Type

  • Ebooks

Regional Focus


Heat: Planetary Balance

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  • This digital text details the climate characteristics of three different periods in Earth's history: the Late Cretaceous (Dinosaur Earth), Pleistocene (Icehouse Earth), and Holocene (Holocene Earth).
  • After reading, students will understand that current climate on Earth is a delicate balance and how drastically different the climate has been in the past. 
Teaching Tips


  • Students have the option to listen rather than read, which is an excellent differentiation tool.
  • This resource is broken down is a very reader-friendly and easy to understand way.
  • The images of ice-cover can help students imagine what the Earth may have looked like in the past.

Additional Prerequisites


  • This resource lends itself well to a whole-class discussion comparing and contrasting the three climates explained. A guiding question could be, "What are some observable differences between Dinosaur, Icehouse, and Holocene Earth?"
  • As an extension activity, have students research one of the distinct balances that contributes to Holocene Earth. 
  • The read-aloud feature could be a great way to introduce this resource to ESL learners or students with learning differences.
  • Other related resources include Workings of Heat, A Tour of Temperature, and Maps of Temperature.
Scientist Notes
This resource explores planetary time scales from the Cretaceous era and Holocene epoch. This is recommended for teaching.

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

  • Science
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS-ESS2-2. Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-1. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
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