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3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Physics, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Type

  • Videos, 1 minute, 56 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus


The Greenhouse Effect

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  • This video explains the greenhouse effect on Earth, what greenhouse gases do, and how humans are affecting the natural greenhouse effect.
  • Links to other videos and materials about the greenhouse effect, greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, climate change, and the scientific process are also provided.
Teaching Tips


  • The webpage is interactive and has opportunities for students to extend their learning.
  • Students will be stimulated by bright colors and the multimedia components of the webpage.
  • This would be an excellent resource to introduce students to the greenhouse effect, greenhouse gases, and the carbon cycle.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students will need basic familiarity with the states of matter, primarily understanding what a vapor or gas is.
  • Students should have a basic understanding of energy, and that heat from the sun is a source of energy.
  • Some terms students will need to be familiar with include emissions, infrared radiation, vapor, reflected, and atmosphere.


  • English language learners may also need the terms cycle and energy front-loaded, as well as the terms mentioned above.   
  • Students who need more processing time or have low listening comprehension can slow the playback speed on the video and/or turn on closed-captioning.
  • This resource is user-friendly and interactive, so it would be useful for a web quest activity for an inquiry-based learning experience.
  • Language arts classes can have students read the brief articles on this site as an informational text lesson or for a guided research project.
Scientist Notes
This video resource from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency describes the greenhouse effect in simple terms. The graphics clearly show the flow of energy in the Earth system and the role of greenhouse gases in keeping the Earth warm is clearly illustrated. The video then turns to how burning fossil fuels leads to more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and then asks students how these extra greenhouse gases affect the amount of heat in the atmosphere, presenting a good place to stop and discuss with students. The website also features two “Learn…” links where important terms like radiation and greenhouse effect are described. 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
      • 4-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and that their uses affect the environment.
      • MS-ESS3-5. Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
    • PS3: Energy
      • 4-PS3-2. Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents.
      • 5-PS3-1. Use models to describe that energy in animals’ food (used for body repair, growth, motion, and to maintain body warmth) was once energy from the sun.
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