Betsy Youngman, LuAnn Dahlman, Earthlabs from TERC
Activity takes two 50-minute class periods. Computer access for each student group is necessary.Discuss this Resource»
Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing 4a
Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines
Other materials addressing:
C) Collecting information.
Other materials addressing:
E) Organizing information.
Other materials addressing:
A) Processes that shape the Earth.
Benchmarks for Science Literacy
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Notes From Our Reviewers
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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- Google Earth must be installed prior to activity.
- There is a link from the teacher support materials for the lab to the student materials but no link the other way.
- Educator should be aware that units are not specific on the axes. It is implicit in the annual data below the climographs, but it should be on the axes, especially for precipitation, whose units people are not necessarily familiar with.
- There is a high language load so the educator may need to spend time developing vocabulary.
About the Science
- The resource uses digitally available data that is up to date.
- The web pages for each lab contain links to external sites to access data, graphs, and/or articles.
- Student has control over the selection of data to produce the graphs.
- Allows students to compare climates in different regions to understand normal conditions, seasonal variations, etc.
- Comment from scientist: Weather extremes are not mentioned appropriately in the activity. In terms of what you should advise a friend to pack, the extremes are important in terms of being prepared. This is touched on in the presentation of the high/low temperature plots but isn't really discussed.
- Comment from scientist: The climographs don't use metric units, probably because of the students' familiarity with English units; but it would be good to introduce metric also as this is the standard for science.
About the Pedagogy
- The activity introduces climographs and shows students how to analyze data.
- The activity teaches computer skills such as how to take screen shots and put them into documents.
- This investigative lesson is relevant and student centered.
- The activity has good formative assessment questions.
- This resource engages students in using scientific data.
See other data-rich activities
Related URLs These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEAN
- This is the third lab in a series of eight labs. The EarthLabs website can be found at http://serc.carleton.edu/earthlabs/index.html.
Disciplinary Core Ideas
MS-ESS2.D1: Weather and climate are influenced by interactions involving sunlight, the ocean, the atmosphere, ice, landforms, and living things. These interactions vary with latitude, altitude, and local and regional geography, all of which can affect oceanic and atmospheric flow patterns.
HS-ESS2.D1: The foundation for Earth’s global climate systems is the electromagnetic radiation from the sun, as well as its reflection, absorption, storage, and redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and land systems, and this energy’s re-radiation into space.
Science and Engineering Practices
MS-P4.2: Use graphical displays (e.g., maps, charts, graphs, and/or tables) of large data sets to identify temporal and spatial relationships.
MS-P5.1: Use digital tools (e.g., computers) to analyze very large data sets for patterns and trends.
MS-P6.5: Apply scientific reasoning to show why the data or evidence is adequate for the explanation or conclusion
MS-P8.5: Communicate scientific and/or technical information (e.g. about a proposed object, tool, process, system) in writing and/or through oral presentations.
MS-P1.5: Ask questions that require sufficient and appropriate empirical evidence to answer.
HS-P1.1: ask questions that arise from careful observation of phenomena, or unexpected results, to clarify and/or seek additional information.
HS-P3.4: Select appropriate tools to collect, record, analyze, and evaluate data.
HS-P4.1: Analyze data using tools, technologies, and/or models (e.g., computational, mathematical) in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims or determine an optimal design solution.
HS-P8.5: Communicate scientific and/or technical information or ideas (e.g. about phenomena and/or the process of development and the design and performance of a proposed process or system) in multiple formats (i.e., orally, graphically, textually, mathematically).
MS-C1.4: Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data.
MS-C3.5: Phenomena that can be observed at one scale may not be observable at another scale.
HS-C1.1: Different patterns may be observed at each of the scales at which a system is studied and can provide evidence for causality in explanations of phenomena
HS-C1.5: Empirical evidence is needed to identify patterns.
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