Greenhouse Effect Teaching BoxThis teaching box provides resources related to the greenhouse effect. It will help you teach how the greenhouse effect works, and how it prevents Earth from becoming a frozen ball of ice, and why there is too much of it happening today.

Teaching Boxes are collections of classroom-ready and standards-aligned activities, content, and multimedia that build student understanding of science, technology, engineering, and math.

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Greenhouse Effect diagram UCAR Center for Science Education Teaching Boxes are themed collections of classroom-ready educational resources to build student understanding of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Resources highlighted within teaching boxes are from various science education programs and all have been vetted by the UCAR Center for Science Education team.

  • Topic: The Greenhouse Effect
  • Level: Middle and high school
  • How to use this resource: Select resources from the following tab that are best suited for your students to meet the learning goals. Resources are sequenced to build student understanding. (There are often more resources linked within each section than you will need.)

The Greenhouse Effect

Goal: Students will learn how greenhouse gases temporarily trap heat within Earth's atmosphere, warming our planet via the greenhouse effect.

Activity: Students explore the greenhouse effect through computer simulations and then dive deeper learning how the greenhouse effect works via readings and videos online.


Next Generation Science Standards:

  • NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Developing and Using Models; Analyzing and Interpreting Data; Constructing Explanations
  • NGSS Crosscutting Concepts: Energy and Matter; Stability and Change; Systems and System Models; Cause and Effect; Scale, Proportion, and Quantity
  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: 
    • MS-PS3.A, HS-PS3.A Definitions of Energy
    • MS-PS3.B, HS-PS3.B Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer
    • MS-ESS2.A, HS-ESS2.A Earth's Materials and Systems
    • MS-ESS2.D, HS-ESS2.D Weather and Climate
    • MS-ESS3.D, HS-ESS3.D Global Climate Change
    • MS-ESS3.A, HS-ESS3.A Natural Resources
    • MS-ESS3.C, HS-ESS3.C Human Impacts on Earth Systems