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The Greenhouse Effect

National Geographic

This interactive contains four animated slides that introduce the greenhouse effect. An additional animation offers to 'explore more'.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Simulation/Interactive supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 1 Disciplinary Core Idea, 1 Cross Cutting Concept
High School: 4 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 2 Cross Cutting Concepts


Greenhouse Effect
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Grade Level

Middle (6-8)
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High School (9-12)
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Slides are suitable for middle school students. Readings in the "explore more" section are more for higher level students.

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • "Explore more" section may be more appropriate for the educator than the student.

About the Science

  • Four slides that introduce the greenhouse effect and some greenhouse gases. Simple visual and text explanation of the natural greenhouse effect and how human activities are intensifying this effect.
  • Comment from expert scientist: It is well built and very clear. It is clear and simple in the way it explains what greenhouse effect is, what the main greenhouse gases are, and what effect they exert.

About the Pedagogy

  • The "Explore More" button contains links to a video about the causes of global warming, a map of global warming effects, and a quiz about climate change.
  • The extra material is good. But it is not clear how one could answer all the questions correctly in the quiz. There are some problems with the wording of the quiz, which may be misleading.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • User can click forward and backward through the 4 animated slides of content. There are some advertisements along the side of the interactive.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Simulation/Interactive supports:

Middle School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 1

MS-PS3.B2:The amount of energy transfer needed to change the temperature of a matter sample by a given amount depends on the nature of the matter, the size of the sample, and the environment.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 1

Energy and Matter

MS-C5.4:The transfer of energy can be tracked as energy flows through a designed or natural system.

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 4

HS-ESS2.D1:The foundation for Earth’s global climate systems is the electromagnetic radiation from the sun, as well as its reflection, absorption, storage, and redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and land systems, and this energy’s re-radiation into space.

HS-ESS2.D3:Changes in the atmosphere due to human activity have increased carbon dioxide concentrations and thus affect climate.

HS-ESS2.D4:Current models predict that, although future regional climate changes will be complex and varied, average global temperatures will continue to rise. The outcomes predicted by global climate models strongly depend on the amounts of human-generated greenhouse gases added to the atmosphere each year and by the ways in which these gases are absorbed by the ocean and biosphere.

HS-PS3.B2:Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can be transported from one place to another and transferred between systems

Cross Cutting Concepts: 2

Energy and Matter

HS-C5.2:Changes of energy and matter in a system can be described in terms of energy and matter flows into, out of, and within that system.

HS-C5.3:Energy cannot be created or destroyed—only moves between one place and another place, between objects and/or fields, or between systems.

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