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Probable Futures


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Earth and Space Sciences, English Language Arts

Resource Type

  • Ebooks

Regional Focus


Heat: Planetary Balance

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  • This digital text details the climate characteristics of three different periods in Earth's history: the Late Cretaceous (Dinosaur Earth), Pleistocene (Icehouse Earth), and Holocene (Holocene Earth).
  • After reading, students will understand that current climate on Earth is a delicate balance and how drastically different the climate has been in the past. 
Teaching Tips


  • Students have the option to listen rather than read, which is an excellent differentiation tool.
  • This resource is broken down is a very reader-friendly and easy to understand way.
  • The images of ice-cover can help students imagine what the Earth may have looked like in the past.

Additional Prerequisites


  • This resource lends itself well to a whole-class discussion comparing and contrasting the three climates explained. A guiding question could be, "What are some observable differences between Dinosaur, Icehouse, and Holocene Earth?"
  • As an extension activity, have students research one of the distinct balances that contributes to Holocene Earth. 
  • The read-aloud feature could be a great way to introduce this resource to ESL learners or students with learning differences.
  • Other related resources include Workings of Heat, A Tour of Temperature, and Maps of Temperature.
Scientist Notes
This resource explores planetary time scales from the Cretaceous era and Holocene epoch. This is recommended for teaching.
  • Science and Engineering
    • ESS2: Earth’s Systems
      • HS-ESS2-2 Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-1 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
  • English Language Arts
    • Reading (K-12)
      • R.6-8.12 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
      • R.9-12.12 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
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