Layers of Atmosphere
The Dr. Binocs Show: Model of the Earth’s atmosphere. 


PBS Understanding Natural Climate Cycles
This short video explains how the Earth’s climate has changed in the past due to its orientation, as well as how human activity has disrupted the natural climate cycle by generating excess carbon dioxide. 

PBS Ancient Ice and Future Climate 
Interactive and lesson plan 
Self-paced lesson on fluctuations in the Earth’s climate due to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide due to natural and human activities.Analyze and compare graphs to draw conclusions. 


COOL water cycle song
Covers the processes involved in the cycling of water through Earth’s systems. 

Study Jams: The Water Cycle
Video and quiz 
Covers the processes involved in the cycling of water through Earth’s systems. 

NASA: Earth’s Water Cycle
Animation uses Earth science sensor data as well as cartoons to describe Earth’s water cycle. 

Clouds & Precipitation
Slide show and quiz 
Cloud formation and precipitation. 


Earth – A global map of wind, weather, and ocean conditions
Interactive visualizations of global weather conditions, including wind patterns, areas of high and low pressure, ocean currents, temperature anomalies, etc. Different features are updated from every 30 minutes to every 5 days. 

NOVA Cloud Lab 
Use a key to identify cloud types and the weather conditions they are associated with, follow the course of Hurricane Sandy, and analyze NASA weather imagery to study past storms. 

Interactive Weather Maker 
Interactive simulation 
Control the temperature and relative humidity. 


Air Pressure & Wind  
Video and quiz 
Explains how air pressure causes wind. 

Air Masses & Fronts
Video and quiz 
Air masses cause fronts and fronts are responsible for all kinds of weather. 

BrainPOP Wind Simulator
Interactive simulator shows how areas of high and low pressure affect wind speed and direction, as well as the formation of cyclones. 


Our World: What is Weather
This NASA video segment focuses on the relationship between weather and climate. Learn more about the interconnectedness of heat, air pressure, winds, and moisture to produce local weather. 


Weather & Climate
Video and quiz 
Difference between weather and climate. 

The Ocean: A Driving Force for Weather and Climate
This animation uses Earth science data from a variety of sensors on NASA Earth observing satellites to measure physical oceanography parameters such as ocean currents, ocean winds, sea surface height and sea surface temperature. These measurements, in combination with atmospheric measurements such as surface air temperature, precipitation and clouds can help scientists understand the ocean's impact on weather and climate and what this means for life here on Earth.



Forms and Changes of Energy   
Images, vocabulary, reading and review questions   
Identify different forms of energy and describe how energy changes form. 


Energy in a Roller Coaster Ride
Interactive, discussion questions and background reading 
Interactive roller coaster ride illustrates the relationship between potential and kinetic energy. 

Wind Energy  
Video, images, reading and review questions 
Moving air has kinetic energy. When wind hits the blades of the turbine, the kinetic energy makes the blades move. The turbine spins and creates electricity. 



Faraday’s Electromagnetic Lab
Interactive simulation 
Electromagnet and Generator: Use models to exemplify how magnetic fields produced by electrical energy flow in a circuit is interrelated in electromagnets and generators.  


Transfer of Thermal Energy
Images, reading and review questions 
Describe the conduction of thermal energy, explain how convection transfers thermal energy, and give an example of the radiation of thermal energy. 


Too Hot to Handle
Interactive simulation 
Design a handle using a variety of materials for Hot Stuff’s new skillet. 


Simple Machines
Help Twitch get his work done at the museum by using simple machines. 


Wind Energy 
Interactive virtual activity  
Design, build and test a wind turbine that will supply 400 homes with electricity for a year at the highest efficiency.



Kingdoms of Life Explained, Sort of
Scientists have a system to group all the living things so they can study them.

Introduction to the Characteristics of Life
This visually stunning trailer choreographed to powerful music introduces the viewer to the characteristics that all life on Earth shares.Can be a helpful introduction to the science unit. 


The Kingdoms of Life 
Video, song and quiz 
Grouping organisms into the 5 kingdoms helps scientists understand similarities among living things. 

“Things That” Game
Organism classification and characteristics game that includes three rounds. Note: Click on each object that fits the given criteria before you click "go". 

Kingdom Animalia   
Reading, images, organizers, questions 
This lesson explores the classification system used to identify animals. Most children are fascinated by animals and often have an animal that is a particular favorite, possibly even an animal the child has never seen before. Children also like to order and sort things, and this lesson melds both of these interests. 

Classification Booklet  
Workbook and images   
A basic workbook that students can use to develop a model of scientific taxonomy. Students can use this workbook to obtain and evaluate scientific information to help the development of their model. 

The Best Classification Rap—with lyrics   
Mr. Simons' 5th grade class raps about how to classify an organism. 


Slide show and quiz 
Definitions and examples of invertebrates. 

Slide show and quiz 
Definitions and examples of the 5 main groups of vertebrates. 

NOVA Evolution Lab 
For each level of this game, students must build phylogenetic trees by identifying common characteristics of organisms. By clicking on the magnifying glass, students can pull up organism profiles to find similarities and differences. Short video clips introduce each “mission”. Note: Level (or “mission”) 3 and above deal with DNA base pair mutations and may not be suitable for a 6th grade audience. 

Invertebrate vs Vertebrate
Information, charts and images   
Charts, diagrams, facts and descriptions classifying animals into two main groups: vertebrates and invertebrates. 


NatureWorks: Structural and Behavioral Adaptations
Webpage, video, images, reading material and additional links
All organisms have adaptations that help them survive and thrive. Some adaptations are structural. Structural adaptations are physical features of an organism like the bill on a bird or the fur on a bear. Other adaptations are behavioral. Behavioral adaptations are the things organisms do to survive. For example, bird calls and migration are behavioral adaptations.


Skinks in the Desert: Behavior as an Adaptation for Survival
Video, discussion questions, and teaching tips
See how great desert skinks work together to survive in the Australian desert in this video. Most reptiles live alone, but skinks live in colonies and make burrows. This unique behavior adaptation enable them to escape the hot desert temperatures.


Learned Behavior in Capuchin Monkeys
Video, activity, discussion questions, teaching tips and handouts
Learn how capuchin monkeys in Brazil have developed a cultural tradition of cracking nuts. This video shows monkeys learning to use an anvil and stone to access their primary food source. Teaching tips ask students to explore learned behavior, their understandings of culture, and more generally how scientists observe animals in the wild. Herding Dogs of the United Kingdom
Video, activity, teaching tips and further information
Joe Ralf uses his Border collie herding dogs in the Lake District of the United Kingdom to herd his flock of sheep. The dogs can follow the shepherd's command to herd in sheep from over a half mile away. Because they spend so much time together, shepherds and dogs form a close social bond. Part of the herding dogs skill is innate (under genetic control or instinctive) and part is learned behavior (what you teach the dog to do). People have used herding dogs for over 9,000 years.

Dolphin Tricks and Behaviors
Dolphins are incredibly smart animals. With just a simple wave of the hand, trained dolphins can do a number of impressive tricks. Sharon Collins visits the Georgia Aquarium's Marineland to learn about the biology of dolphins and see some of their incredible tricks.


Video, discussion questions and further information
This video segment explores the life and anatomy of a frog, an amphibian. It explains what it means to be cold-blooded, why frogs hibernate, and why they croak. You can follow their life cycle and see some amazing videos of frogs eating with their specially adapted tongue.  Learn how biologists use frogs to study problems in the environment.

Video, discussion questions and further information
Snakes have long, scaly bodies with no arms or legs. They live almost everywhere on earth and very few are poisonous. Joan Cartan-Hansen and her guests, Charles Peterson, and Frank Lundburg, answer students’ questions about snakes. 

Video, lesson plan, teacher and student files
How are all the structures in your body affected by cold weather and why do our fingers, toes, and nose end up with frostbite first?  When we start getting cold, the tissue and organs in our extremities do not get as much warm blood as our more important internal organs.  Next, ice crystals start to form in our cells causing them to die.  Finally, rewarming the tissue can cause damage resulting in problems with muscles, tendons, and bone.  

Video, lesson plan, teacher and student files
How can mammals survive hibernation?  We may not know as much as we think.  There are several myths about hibernation that are corrected in this video.  To survive, mammals lower their metabolism including respiration, heart rate, and temperature in order to conserve energy.  This is a form of maintaining homeostasis.  This video and lesson draws connections between hibernation and homeostasis to integrate essential vocabulary. The resolution of common hibernation myths creates an engaging way to introduce students to metabolism, respiration, heart rate and homeostasis in humans.

Raptor Migration
Video, lesson plan, teacher and student files
Why do some birds, like raptors, move from one region to another at certain times of the year?   It is all about their interactions with their environment.  The primary factor is scarcity in a food source.  Another factor includes changes in the weather. This video and lesson integrate essential vocabulary. The explanation of this seasonal event includes an engaging way to introduce students to the abiotic and biotic factors that affect the raptor’s migration and provides a platform to investigate the types of relationships found in their ecosystem.



Video, discussion questions and further information
Watch the animation to find out how protists, which are single-cell organisms that are neither animal nor plant, function.



Mosses & Ferns
Video and quiz 
Reproduction through spores, vascular and non-vascular plants. 


Chloroplasts and Food from Open Science Ed 
Shows the relationship between the inputs and outputs in the chloroplasts of plants, that can help explain how they convert water and carbon dioxide to glucose and water with the help of energy absorbed from light. 


The Amazing Ways Plants Defend Themselves – Valentin Hammoudi
Unique adaptations that help plants survive insect and animal attacks. Includes introduction of plant immune systems and cell structures. Fully animated with narration. Could be used to introduce students to diversity of natural defenses prior to a related project, such as researching a particular plant’s defense strategies and creating a poster or model explaining the involved structures. 


Documenting Change in Plants
Video, activity, further information, and teaching tips
Learn how plants can be used to help us learn about climate changes over time. For example, a warming trend can be determined by looking at samples that flower earlier and earlier each year. Scientists also conduct research on plants to find genes that are important for agriculture, food and medicine.

Plants Get Sick
Video and discussion questions
If conditions are right a plant can get sick just like people. This video describes the steps used to determine what can cause plants to get sick, and profiles four main types of pathogens that affect plants: fungi, bacteria, viruses and nematodes. The cause of a plant’s illness can be based on the environmental conditions and various pathogens that might be present. A pathogen is a type of organism that can cause a disease. It is up to a Plant Diagnostician to determine the cause of a plant’s illness.

Harvesting Plants in Space
Video, student handout, discussion materials, teaching tips and answer key
Find out how researchers and astronauts teamed up to study the growth of an ordinary plant in space and why that impacts farming back on Earth. Students will explore two contrasting ideas about how plants and their roots grow in the absence of gravity, discover new factors that influence plant growth and design their own space farming experiment.


Plants and Shadows
Video, discussion questions and further information
Clouds and shadows mean plants live in a constantly changing world of light. Researchers identify how plants detect shadows and maximize efficiency for capturing sunlight for photosynthesis.