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Lesson summary for:
How Did Plants Change Our Planet?


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Botanist Dr. Nathalie Nagalingum explains how, more than 400 million years ago, early plants played a notable role in adjusting Earth's physical surface as well as our planet's climate. She meets with paleobotanist Dr. Cindy Looy to discuss the evidence that scientists currently have to support her story.

California Academy of Sciences

Grade level:

5 minutes

Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.

  • Life has been on Earth for billions of years.

  • Life forms have changed over time. (LS4.A)

  • Many forms of life in the past were different from living things today. (LS4.A)

  • Many forms of life in the past were similar to present-day living things. (LS4.A)

  • Present-day life forms are related to past life forms. (LS4.A)

  • Scientists base their ideas on evidence from the natural world. (P3, P6, P7, NOS8)

  • Scientists study living things and how they are related.

  • Scientists study fossils and how and when they were formed. (LS4.A)

Teacher background:

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