This video guide goes with the 97 minute National Geographic film "Collapse" which is based on the Jared Diamond book by the same title. The video follows the story of the book and envisions a world 200 years into the future during which a great civilization has collapsed (implied that it is the United States). The story explores the possible causes for the collapse - water crisis? Lack of energy sources? Dust Storm? Global Warming?
The video is an excellent resource to use when exploring the historical theme of the collapse of empires and what common threads have led to collapses over the millenniums. Taken directly from the National Geographic description:
"Over the 20th and 21st centuries, the rise of our civilization has seemed unstoppable. But could our modern, industrialized civilization fall apart like great ancient ones before us? Two hundred years from now, will scientists find evidence that we followed a recipe for disaster similar to that of the Maya or the Romans? To understand a collapse, imagine it has already happened."
The Collapse Video Guide features 20 questions that follow along with the video as well as a follow-up writing prompt asking students to use critical thinking skills to analyze the video.