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Kim Preshoff, TED-Ed


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th


Science, Chemistry, Mathematics, Visual and Performing Arts

Resource Types

  • Videos, 2 minutes, 27 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Assessments
  • Interactive Media
  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus


How to Visualize One Part Per Million

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  • This video from TED-Ed shows nine ways students can visualize measurements in parts per million, considering it is not inherently simple to conceptualize. 
Teaching Tips


  • The video was created with the help of over 100 animators to create visualizations of one part per million.
  • The examples used are engaging, relatable, and varied which can make it more accessible to different styles of learning.
  • The video webpage includes eight "Think" questions, a "Dig Deeper" section with additional resources, and a "Discuss" section with a guided prompt for discussion.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should know what types of things we measure using parts per million, particularly greenhouse gas concentrations.
  • Students should understand that even though one part per million seems small, even low levels of toxic substances are dangerous.
  • You must sign into the website to use the interactive features.


  • Students can create their own analogies to visualize one part per million.
  • Students in math classes can convert units using parts per million.
  • Students can write an analysis of why they think it is difficult for humans to conceptualize parts per million and relate it to why humans have a hard time conceptualizing long periods of time (like the 4.6 billion years of Earth's history).
Scientist Notes
The video provides nine clear examples for students to understand ppm which is a common unit for measuring CO2 concentrations. There is no contradiction in the examples given. Thus, the resource is recommended for teaching.
  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • 6.SL.2 Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
  • Mathematics
    • Geometric Reasoning and Measurement (K-12)
      • 5.GM.C.4 Convert between different-sized standard measurement units within a given measurement system. Use these conversions in solving multi-step problems in authentic contexts.
    • Proportional Reasoning: Rations and Proportions (6-7)
      • 7.RP.A.2 Recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities in tables, graphs, equations, diagrams, and verbal descriptions of proportional relationships. Identify the constant of proportionality (unit rate) within various representations.
  • Arts
    • Visual Arts: Standard 1 - Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
      • VA.1.CR1.4 2. Imagine and articulate numerous approaches for composition.
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