Humans on Earth

Twig World Limited
Type Category
Instructional Materials
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.



This is a 3.5 minute narrated video explaining the use of natural resources to supply the needs of humans, and solutions for preserving them.

Intended Audience

Educational Level
  • Early Elementary
Access Restrictions

Limited free access - Some material is available for viewing and/or downloading but most material tends to be accessible through other means.

Performance Expectations

K-ESS3-3 Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment.

Clarification Statement: Examples of human impact on the land could include cutting trees to produce paper and using resources to produce bottles. Examples of solutions could include reusing paper and recycling cans and bottles.

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this performance expectation, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Allowing students to participate in discussion about the video and add their own thoughts to the discussion will increase the impact of this resource. Begin by identifying the three problems addressed in the video: extinction, deforestation, and water pollution. Divide the students into groups and have each group choose one of the three identified problems. Review the definitions of each problem as defined in the video. Ask each group to brainstorm possible solutions to their problem and record their answers. Encourage solutions to be ways that they, personally can have an impact on the solution. Groups should then share out their problems and solutions to the class.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource was not designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Watch the video and use the suggested tips in the Performance Expectation section of this review. In addition to their brainstormed ideas for possible solutions to their identified problem (extinction, deforestation, and water pollution), have students draw a before and after picture. The before picture should include what the problem might look like and the after picture should show what their solution might look like. Have students move to different groups to show and describe their pictures.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Re-watch the video. During the second viewing be sure to stop the video in key places that show human impact. Ask students to identify what is happening in the video and specifically ask; What are humans doing and what resource are they impacting with their actions.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this crosscutting concept.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
The video directly explains the cause and effects of human impact on natural resources and the environment. However, teachers should guide students to identify observable patterns in this cause and effect relationship. For example; Things we place on top of the soil, such as fertilizers, or trash can eventually pollute the water system. Too much pollution can cause marine life to die. When too many of the same species of marine life die, extinction can take place. Deforestation removes habitat and forces animals to leave or die. When too many of the same species of animal die, extinction can take place.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: This is a great resource within the course of a unit study, either as an engagement or extension piece. Nice for simple background information for young children.

  • Instructional Supports: The video engages students in authentic, real world scenarios. It includes and emphasizes only a few key vocabulary words while providing simple but accurate information. Some of the terms are above the instructional level of young learners. Teachers should follow up with the vocabulary and information provided in the video to increase student understanding. It can be viewed in Close Caption and includes written transcripts.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: The resource is an informative piece to provide background information or reiterate learned information. It is not designed for assessment.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: The video is high quality and engaging however there is no interactivity between the viewer and the video.