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Science Journal for Kids


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Chemistry, Biology, English Language Arts

Resource Types

  • Scientific Papers or Reports
  • Worksheet
  • Video, 8 minutes, 50 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Video, 3 minutes, 28 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Assessment

Regional Focus




How Do Some Algae Make the Earth Warmer?

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  • This lesson has students read a simplified scientific paper that details research about algae that also produce nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas.
  • Students read the paper, answer comprehension questions, and watch a video to learn about the effects of increased nitrogen in aquatic environments and on the climate.
Teaching Tips


  • Walking students through the background information, methodology, and conclusions, the article allows them to practice and prepare for reading actual academic papers.
  • This lesson is a great way for students to see how the scientific method is applied in research.
  • The resource includes additional lesson plans, related articles, and a glossary of key terms.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should have a basic understanding of biology and chemistry.
  • Aside from the video, this lesson can be completed offline by printing the article.


  • The article is available in both upper and lower reading levels. The article for lower reading levels may be best for younger students and students unfamiliar with basic biology and chemistry.
  • It may be helpful for some students to use the audio version of the article (the first video).
  • Some terms like genetic, microbes, and ecosystems may need to be defined for younger students before or after watching the video.
  • Ecology classes can use this paper to connect to topics such as eutrophication and the nitrogen cycle.
  • For similar resources, see this lesson on preparing for droughts and this lesson on how whales are affected by climate change.
Scientist Notes
While all photosynthetic algae sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, some algae actually produce nitrous oxide, an even stronger greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. This research looks at what kind of algae and in what kind of environment produces nitrous oxide. This resource is recommended for teaching.

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

  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • RST.9-10.1 Accurately cite strong and thorough evidence from the text to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to precise details for explanations or descriptions.
      • RST.9-10.2 Determine the central ideas, themes, or conclusions of a text; trace the text's explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
      • HS-ESS3-3. Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among the management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.
      • HS-ESS3-6. Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
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