Within each tabbed topic area, you will find suggested videos, websites, and readings related to that topic. We hope you find these resources helpful. If you have suggestions for resources related to these topics that you’d like to share with other teachers, please let us know and we will add them here!
Climate Change South America
In layman’s language appropriate for kids as well as adults, discusses signs of climate change in different regions of South America, the role of the Amazon basin to the health of our planet, and environmental concerns such as deforestation that can have major impacts on the changing climate. (10:57)
The Páramos: Climate change threatens a fragile ecosystem in the Andes
The páramo is a high mountain ecosystem in South America’s Andes rich with biodiversity and an important source of water for millions of people. This video from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society discusses how climate change is impacting this fragile environment. (4:21)
National Geographic Global Warming Video Collection
A collection of about 20 short videos that examine causes, effects, and potential solutions to global climate change. The first video in the series, “A Way Forward: Facing Climate Change,” provides an overview of this global issue. 7:43
Discovery Channel Global Warming and Climate Change Video Collection
A collection of nine short videos looking at the impacts of climate change in different parts of the world and on different animal species. Go to news.discovery.com to see the full collection.
Bolivia’s Glaciers Offer Climate Change Clues
Scientists at the world’s highest atmospheric monitoring station in Bolivia are studying the impact of climate change on the region. 2:04
Series of videos on climate change indicators with related lesson plans for secondary school teachers. Produced by the National Earth Science Teachers Association and Windows to the Universe in conjunction with NBC Learn and the National Science Foundation. View the secondary school lessons that accompany the video set at www.windows2universe.org.
Hot Planet? – BBC Documentary
A recent hour-long BBC documentary that explores the world’s leading climate scientists’ vision of the planet’s future. Fast-paced, engaging resource that is likely to elicit discussion among middle- and high-school-aged kids in particular. 59:22
Journalist Simeon Tegel: Reporting on Climate Change in Latin America
British journalist Simeon Tegal outlines the environmental issues spanning Latin America due to climate change in the region. Video is recent, from August 2012. 4:41
Global Warning: Early Warnings on Adaptation
In this video, several leaders of indigenous peoples’ organizations, represented in the Arctic Council, share their thoughts and concerns about the changes in their lifestyles brought on by the changing climate. Produced by the European Environment Agency.
State of the Planet’s Oceans: Retreat of the South American Glaciers
Hosted by Matt Damon, this video is part of Journey To Planet Earth, a current PBS series that explores the fragile relationship between people and the world they inhabit. 1:59
The Nansen Conference 2011 – Climate Change and Displacement
A short video from the Nansen Conference on Climate Change and Displacement, the first large-scale conference on climate change and displacement, which took place in Oslo, Norway, June 5-7, 2011. 2:30
European Environment Agency Climate Change Videos
A series of videos on climate change specific to climate change impacts in Europe, available from the European Environment Agency. To view the full set, go to www.eea.europa.eu/themes/climate/multimedia.
The Arctic Ice Is Melting Faster Than Expected
From February 2011. Professor Stefan Rahmstorf, Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany, explains that sea ice is melting faster and the sea level is rising faster than expected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) in 2007. He argues that we’re running out of time and that it’s necessary to limit global temperature warming to less than two degrees to prevent critical changes. 2:11
Arctic Changes: The Big Picture
From March 2010. Clear explanations with graphics, appropriate for K-12 students. Over recent decades, the Arctic has been the fastest-warming region on the planet. This video tells the story of how it has been changing, as seen from satellites above, and submarines below, touring through years of hard research — in three minutes. Some of the key findings: sea ice is thinning even faster than it is shrinking in area, and Greenland has been shedding ice at an accelerating pace — with consequences for sea level. 3:06
Global Warming: It’s All About Carbon
A series of five short animated videos (3-4 minutes each) explaining the chemistry behind climate change. Produced by National Public Radio.
NASA: Global Climate Change
Winner of a Webby Award for Best Science Site in 2011, this site provides climate change visualizations and statistics, news features, educator resources, and much more.
Everything You Need to Know about Climate Change
Interactive graphic that provides a guide to global warming, from science and politics to economics and technology.
UK-based; has nice step-by-step intro to climate change, as well as lessons and activities.
Climate Hot Map: Global Warming Effects Around the World
Interactive map to explore some of the effects of global warming around the world. This site also includes information about the causes of global warming, the impacts of global warming on different ecosystems and on people worldwide, and suggested solutions, which can be viewed continent by continent.
NPR Climate Connections: A Global Journey
Explore global warming issues using an interactive map that looks at how climate changes people and how people change climate around the world.
NASA Climate Kids
Includes resources/activities for kids and teachers alike.
It’s Getting Hot in Here
An interactive graphic on climate change through history.
The Adopt a Negotiator Project
Tracking international efforts to deal with climate change.
An independent, nonprofit journalism and research organization with articles and media focused on helping people understand how climate change connects to them.
The Climsave Project
Developing an interactive web-based tool to assess climate change impacts and vulnerabilities for European nations.
SustainUS is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of young people advancing sustainable development and youth empowerment in the United States.
Our World 2.0
The Our World 2.0 web magazine shares the ideas and actions of citizens around the world who are transforming lives for the better. This magazine, produced by the United Nations University Media Centre, shares these insights through video briefs, articles, debates, photo essays, and public events.
A social networking site of sorts where individuals share recorded observations from the natural world (many captured via mobile devices). Thousands of species have been captured by camera and plotted with google maps on the website, creating a database that visitors can sort through by location, species, or observer. The “Species” and “Projects” links will probably be most of interest to schools.
Environmental Literacy Council
Has resources for educators along with information about a variety of topics (climate change, energy, water, environment and society, etc.) geared toward students.
Yale Environment 360
Has a great collection of articles, links, and videos related to environmental issues, climate, energy, oceans, sustainability, water, etc., and you can view topics by continent as well as overall.
United Nations Environment Programme
The mission of UNEP is “to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.”
Earthtimes Encyclopaedia of Environmental Issues
This website includes encyclopedia-like entries with text, images, and links on many of the most popular environmental terms. The site also has news articles and blog entries about a variety of topics related to the environment.
Vital Climate Change Graphics for Latin America and the Caribbean 2010 from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Climate Change in Latin America, a report from the European Commission
Arctic Warming Unlocking A Fabled Waterway
(Jackie Northam, National Public Radio, August 15, 2011) First in a six-part series examining what’s at stake, who stands to win and lose, and how Arctic warming and melting sea ice could alter the global dynamic.
Arctic Melts Faster Than IPCC’s Forecasts
(Irene Quaile, Deutsche Welle, June 17, 2011)
Arctic Ice Melt Could Pause in Coming Decades
(National Science Foundation, August 11, 2011)
Arctic Shortcut Beckons Shippers as Ice Thaws
(New York Times, September 10, 2009, by Andrew E. Kramer and Andrew C. Revkin)
Ships Take to Arctic Ocean as Sea Ice Melts: Journey Times between Europe and China Can Be Reduced by Half
(MSNBC, September 28, 2010) Includes a video, “Melting Arctic Ocean.”
Global Climate Change Indicators (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Climatic Data Center)
Hot Spots Where Heatwaves Could Pose Greater Health Risk
(ScienceDaily, June 12, 2010) Heatwaves could especially pose an increased health risk this century in Southern European river valleys and along the Mediterranean coast, a study by two scientists from ETH Zurich has revealed.
Melting Ice Caps Open Up Arctic for ‘White Gold Rush’
(Terry Macalister, The Guardian, July 4, 2011) As rising temperatures expose more land for exploration, prospectors are rushing to the far north in the hope of carving out a new mineral frontier.
Thawing Arctic Opens Up New Shipping Routes on the ‘Roof of the World’
(Terry Macalister, The Guardian, July 5, 2011) An increasing amount of seaborne traffic is moving along a new Siberian coastal route, cutting journey time and boosting trade prospects.
Arctic Report Card: Update for 2010
BBC – Wild South America
Short introduction to some of the important natural resources and wonders of South America. (2:37)
Andes to Amazon in HD from BBC Motion Gallery
This video has no narration, but presents a stunning series of images from across South America. (2:37)
Biodiversity in Latin America
Latin America and the Caribbean plays home to 34% of the world’s plant species and 27% of mammals, making it one of the world’s biodiversity superpowers. (3:01)
National Geographic Education: South America
Introduction to South America with a variety of educational resources centered on the continent and the countries located there.
Geographia: Latin America
Provides an introduction to the history, culture, and geography of seven South America countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Venezuela), including details about their major cities and geographical features.
Latin American School and Educational Resources
A website for middle and high school teachers and students who are learning about Latin America in social sciences and humanities classes.
World Bank: Latin America & Caribbean
An extensive site covering development in Latin America and the Caribbean, including educator resources.
Worldwise Schools: Latin America & the Caribbean
Classroom resources based on Peace Corps volunteer experiences.
Latin American Travelogues
The goal of this project is to create a digital collection of Latin American travel accounts written in the 16th-19th centuries.
The Mighty Amazon & River Dolphins -Wild South America – BBC
Running 4,000 miles from the Andes to the ocean, the Amazon carries a fifth of all the river water on the planet. 4:11
Brief introduction to the Amazon, with some beautiful footage. 1:42
Amazon: Land of the Flooded Forest
An hour-long National Geographic special covering the Amazon river and rainforest in depth. 56:48
The Amazon Road: Paving Paradise for Progress?
NPR coverage of a transcontinental highway under construction in Peru and Brazil that is bringing the prospects of economic opportunity and environmental ruin to some of the most remote places on the planet. 4:51
Amazon Gold Mine
National Geographic’s Wild Chronicles goes on expedition with the World Wildlife Fund to one of the most remote parts of the Amazon rainforest of Brazil, in order to find and stop a destructive gold mining operation hidden deep in the forest’s interior. 4:57
A beautiful and comprehensive guide to the Amazon basin from the World Wildlife Fund.
Amazon 2012 Protected Areas and Indigenous Territories
A detailed pdf map showing indigenous territories and protected national areas in the Amazon basin. Also includes text information about the Amazon region.
The Amazon Rainforest
An introduction to the Amazon Rainforest from the Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research (ACEER) Foundation.
Children of the Jaguar
Winner of the 2012 Best Documentary at the National Geographic All Roads Film Festival, this film details the struggles of the Sarayaku indigenous community of Ecuador as they battled oil companies and the government of Ecuador starting in 2002. The Sarayaku won two major victories in 2012: “in April, for the first time in their history, the government of Ecuador acknowledged responsibility for illegally licensing an oil company to do business on indigenous territory without the community’s consent; and in July the Interamerican Court of Human Rights (ICHR) ruled that the government must consult with indigenous communities prior to such enterprises and to pay for physical and ‘moral’ damages to the community” (Kearns, 2012). This link goes to a trailer for the film. (2:31)
South American Indigenous People
The International Museum of Cultures discusses South American Indigenous people, their culture, pottery, hunting methods using the Blow Gun, and furniture. The people specifically discussed are the Waorani people from Ecuador, previously known as the Auca. 7:26
Tradition and Land: Shuar people, deforestation and mining
This project aims to document and voice changes and threats to lands, cultures and plant medicine traditions of native peoples from North to South America. 10:50
The Ashaninka, A Threatened Way of Life – Survival International
The Ashaninka are one of the largest indigenous groups in South America, their ancestral homelands ranging from Brazil to Peru. Today, a large communal reserve set aside for the Ashaninka is under threat by the proposed Pakitzapango dam, which would displace some 10,000 Ashaninka. The dam is part of a large set of hydroelectric projects planned between the Brazilian and Peruvian governments – without any original consultation with the Ashaninka. Bowing to recent pressure from indigenous groups, development one other dam in the project, the Tambo-40, has already been halted. The Pakitzapango dam on Peru’s Ene River is currently on hold, though the project has not been withdrawn yet. Survival International has collected these images of the Ashaninka and their threatened homeland. 9:16
Quechua – Histoire d’un Peuple
This video is in French, and presents a history of the Quechua people. Beautifully filmed. (6:39)
Mapuche Landscapes – Arauco
Teaser of documentary on Mapuche people and the Maqui berry. Shot in Southern Chile. The Lake Region. (2:53)
Professional Development Opportunities
Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future is a UNESCO programme for the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. It provides professional development for student teachers, teachers, curriculum developers, education policy makers, and authors of educational materials.
Green Education Foundation (GEF) offers online courses in sustainability to educators, students at the high school and undergraduate level, and professionals. In addition to courses, GEF offers a certificate in sustainability concepts for professional development or academic credit.