Teaching Resources - Tracking Global Change Through Ocean Fossils

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Mixed planktic and benthic foramifera

These microscopic ocean organisms called foraminifera are great indicators of global climate changes. 

STEM Subject: Tracking Global Change Through Ocean Fossils

National Middle School Science Standards Earth Science, Life Science 

Key Terms: paleobiology, foraminifera, plankton, ocean fossils, indicator species, extinction, climate change 

Key Concepts:

  • Studying the fossil record of small ocean animals 
  • What foraminifera reveal about Earth's history 
  • Earth's deep history of climate change
  • Causes and consequences of climate change
  • Technology used by paleobiologists 

Resource Types:


Webcast (video) and Podcast (audio) Shows

Printable Lessons 

Online Activities 

Science Literacy Resources 

Middle School Level

High School Level 

Gifted Readers

Poster and Worksheets 




The Global Change Through Ocean Fossils teaching resources support students in meeting the following middle school NGSS Performance Expectations:

MS-ESS1 Earth's Place in the Universe

  • MS-ESS1-4 Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence from rock strata for how the geologic time scale is used to organize Earth's 4.6-billion-year-old-history

MS-ESS2 Earth's Systems

  • MS-ESS2-2 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth's surface at varying time and spatial scales

MS-LS4 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

  • MS-LS4-1 Analyze and interpret data for patterns in the fossil record that document the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of life forms throughout the history of life on Earth under the assumption that natural laws operate today as in the past
  • MS-LS4-2 Apply scientific ideas to construct an explanation for the anatomical similarities and differences among modern organisms and between modern and fossil organisms to infer evolutionary relationships