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Topic(s):

Climate, Elementary (K-4), Hydrosphere

 

Scenario:

Climate Poem

Climate and Water

The water cycle moves Earth's water around.
Sometimes through the air. Sometimes through the ground.
Some places have rain. Some places get snow.
So where does your water come from and where does it go?

The energy from the Sun keeps the cycle in motion.
Moving water into the air, to the ground, to the ocean.
Weather is short-term, you're talking about days.
Is climate long-term and different in other ways?

If you could find out where your water is found.
How much of it is in the air and on or in the ground.
Decided whether your water is mostly liquid, solid or gas.
Would that help you know your climate, at last?

Some places have lakes. Some places have streams.
Some places have almost no water, it seems.
Some places have damp air. Some places, air that is dry.
Not much water in a desert. Can you tell me why?

When it comes to water, places are dry or they're wet.
And some places change with the seasons, you bet.
To talk about climate without water would be tough.
Knowing the temperatures, now would that be enough?

In places where it never rains and it never snows.
Water hides deep in the ground or even in rivers flows.
Now think about where you live and your daily weather.
Do you get rain and need to have an umbrella or a sweater?

If you think about the water that falls from your sky.
What form it takes, how much comes down, and the reasons why.
You get no snow, no fog, no rain or maybe you get too much.
Is it your elevation, your location, the time of year and such?

Water words like rain or snow are used for the weather.
With temperature words like hot or cold come together.
To tell you what it's like outside your door for today.
But to talk about climate what other words would you say?

Climate and Water Essential Questions
As you work through this module see if you can find answers to these essential questions and other questions of your own about climate and water.
  • What does the amount of rain and other precipitation you get in your neighborhood have to do with your climate?
  • What does the kind of precipitation that you get in your neighborhood have to do with your climate?
  • What does the amount of water in the air and in and on the ground in your neighborhood have to do with your climate?
  • What does the amount and type of precipitation that falls in your neighborhood have to do with the kinds of things that live there?
  • How does the amount and kind of precipitation in your neighborhood change the land in your neighborhood?
  • How is the water in your neighborhood the same or different from the water in other places on Earth with a different climate?

 

Date: 11/20/2009

Scenario Images:

Climate and Water
Earth is called the water planet. How much water a place on Earth has in the air or in and on the land nearby depends on its climate. Some places have almost no water anywhere. Other places have water almost everywhere. In some places the water freezes most of the time. In some places the water never freezes and in others the water is always changing states. The water cycle moves Earth's water from the oceans to the air, to the land and back again. How much water do you have in your neighborhood? Images: clipart.com



Sun
Sunshine around the world. What do the colors mean? The Sun shines and warms our air, water, land and us, too. Not all of the places on Earth get the same amount of sunshine. Even the same place on Earth gets different amounts of sunshine at different times (seasons) of the year. Watch this and see how the amount of sunshine changes during the year and from year to year around the world. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory



sea temp
Ocean surface temperatures around the world. What do the colors mean? The Sun shines on the ocean and warms the water near the surface. Some parts of Earth's oceans are warm and some parts are cold. Earth's oceans affect weather and climate in your neighborhood even if you don't live near the beach. Watch this and see how the temperature of Earth's oceans change from year to year.



Rain
Rainfall around the world. What do the colors mean? Some places on Earth get a bunch of rain. Some places get only a little. The amount of rain that a place gets over a long period of time is part of what determines its climate. Watch this to see how the amount of rain in different places on Earth changes from year to year. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory



snow
Snow around the world. What do the colors mean? Do you have snow where you live? Not all places on Earth get snow, but some places get a lot of it. Snow and rain are part of the water cycle. Watch this to see where and how much snow falls around the world from year to year.



Resources:

 

Climate: Water (Cycle A)
These sites for kids have age appropriate information about climate and water:

  • Discover Water - Everything you want to learn about Earth's water, how to protect it and more. Play the games, explore and create a printable poster to share what you learn.
  • Water Cycle - Interactive Water Cycle for Kids from the USGS. Select Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced viewing level.
  • Kids' Crossing: Life in the Greenhouse Learn about climate and more.
  • What is Climate? This Windows on the Universe page has general information about for elementary students. Go to their Earth's Climate and Global Change collection to explore more climate topics.
  • To understand climate, you have to understand weather. Use these resources to learn more about weather:
  • NASA Climate Kids Learn about climate and climate change by playing games, watching videos and more at this NASA's Eyes on the Earth site for kids.
  • Kids Know It Network Games, songs, videos and more about science topics for you.
  • Geography4Kids: Climate Information, videos and more about climate, climate zones and climate change for kids.

 

Earth Science Basics (Cycle A)
Need information about Earth's cycles, systems and processes? These resources are for you:


 

Learn About Climate and Water for Teachers (Cycle B)
Use these resources to build your understanding of climate and water:

  • Principles of Climate Literacy – Climate literacy framework and more.
  • What is Climate? This Exploring Earth investigation explores factors affecting climate.
  • World Climates Information about climate classification, biomes and more.
  • The World's Biomes from the University of California's Museum of Paleontology.
  • The World's Biomes from the University of California's Museum of Paleontology.
  • NSTA Science Objects NSTA Science Objects are on-line interactive inquiry-based modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. Many objects are free to non-members and can be saved in a personal library by creating an account. On the home page select Earth and Space Science from the Subjects menu. Scroll to find topics of interest and these free specific objects:
    • Ocean Effects on Climate and Weather: Global Climate Patterns
    • Ocean Effects on Climate and Weather: Global Circulation Patterns
    • Oceans Effects on Climate and Weather: Global Precipitation and Energy
    • Effect of Oceans on Weather and Climate: Changing Climate
  • Global Climate Change from NASA's Eyes on the Earth - a complete resource for exploring climate change.
  • Human Influence on Global Climate This Exploring Earth investigation explores how human activities influence the global climate system.
  • Earth's Climate and Global Change This collection from Windows on the Universe explores a variety of climate topics.
  • U.S. Climate Normals This NCDC site has links to free information and data. Select Climate of the States then your state for a brief description of your climate.

 

Design You Own Investigation for Teachers (Cycle C)
The following provide lesson plans and more relating to climate and weather:


 

Sample Investigations:

 

A Way to Start Understanding Climate: Precipitation (Cycle A)
This investigation explores the difference between weather and climate and how precipitation affects climate.

Do you remember what the weather was like on your birthday last year? Probably not unless there was a big storm or you had an outdoor birthday party and it rained. Now try to remember what the weather was like on all of your birthdays for last 3 years. Hard, isn't it? Weather happens for a day, for a week, a month or a year. But climate is all of the weather that happens all year long over many years.

Want to learn more about climate? Do you like playing with sand? Then do this investigation and explore your and your family's climate by looking at one climate and weather indicator, precipitation. You will use your birthday and the birthdays of your family to build a "family climate" profile.

Class Climate: Precipitation for Teachers
Difficulty: beginner

 

Air Temperature and the Water Cycle (Cycle A)
How does air temperature affect Earth's water cycle? Do this investigation and see what you can find out.

Air Temperature and the Water Cycle for Teachers
Difficulty: beginner

 

My Climate: Water (Cycle A)
What do you know about the weather the day you were born? Do you know how hot or cold it was? Do you know if it was sunny or rainy? Do you know if it snowed? Was it windy? Now what if the weather on your birthday was the weather in your neighborhood everyday all year long, year after year? What if the same amount and form of precipitation that fell on your birthday, fell on your neighborhood all of the time? Do this investigation and see how what you can find out about your climate and water.

My Climate: Water for Teachers
Difficulty: beginner

 

Learn About Climate and Water (Cycle B)
Work with your team to find answers to questions of your own and these Essential Questions about Earth's climate and water:

  • What does the amount of rain and other precipitation you get in your neighborhood have to do with your climate?
  • What does the kind of precipitation that you get in your neighborhood have to do with your climate?
  • What does the amount of water in the air and in and on the ground in your neighborhood have to do with your climate?
  • What does the amount and type of precipitation that falls in your neighborhood have to do with the kinds of things that live there?
  • How does the amount and kind of precipitation in your neighborhood change the land in your neighborhood?
  • How is the water in your neighborhood the same or different from the water in other places on Earth with a different climate?

Difficulty: beginner

 

Design a Climate: Water Investigation (Cycle C)
Design an investigation of your own that will help students ask and seek answers to questions like these about Earth's climate and water:

  • What does the amount of rain and other precipitation you get in your neighborhood have to do with your climate?
  • What does the kind of precipitation that you get in your neighborhood have to do with your climate?
  • What does the amount of water in the air and in and on the ground in your neighborhood have to do with your climate?
  • What does the amount and type of precipitation that falls in your neighborhood have to do with the kinds of things that live there?
  • How does the amount and kind of precipitation in your neighborhood change the land in your neighborhood?
  • How is the water in your neighborhood the same or different from the water in other places on Earth with a different climate?

Difficulty: beginner

 

 

Standards:

  • Science
    National Science Education Standards - Science Content Standards http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/nses/html/overview.html#content The science content standards outline what students should know, understand, and be able to do in the natural sciences over the course of K-12 education.
    • K-12 UNIFYING CONCEPTS AND PROCESSES
      The understandings and abilities associated with the following concepts and processes need to be developed throughout a student's educational experiences:
      • Systems, order, and organization
      • Evidence, models, and explanation
      • Constancy, change, and measurement
      • Form and function
    • GRADES K-4 CONTENT STANDARDS
      • Science as Inquiry (Std A)
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
        • Understanding about scientific inquiry
      • Physical Science (Std B)
        • Properties of objects and materials
        • Light, heat, electricity, and magnetism
      • Life Science (Std C)
        • Organisms and environments
      • Earth and Space Science (Std D)
        • Properties of earth materials
        • Changes in earth and sky
      • Science and Technology (Std E)
        • Abilities of technological design
        • Abilities to distinguish between natural objects and objects made by humans
      • Science in Personal and Social Perspectives (Std F)
        • Changes in environments
      • History and Nature of Science (Std G)
        • Science as a human endeavor
  • Mathematics
    Principles and Standards for School Mathematics, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), 2000 http://standards.nctm.org/document/prepost/cover.htm This set of Standards proposes the mathematics concepts that all students should have the opportunity to learn. Each of these ten Standards applies across all grades, prekindergarten through grade 12. Even though each of these ten Standards applies to all grades, emphases and expectations will vary both within and between the grade bands (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12). For instance, the emphasis on number is greatest in prekindergarten through grade 2, and by grades 9-12, number receives less instructional attention. Also the total time for mathematical instruction will be divided differently according to particular needs in each grade band - for example, in the middle grades, the majority of instructional time would address algebra and geometry.
    • STANDARD 1: NUMBER AND OPERATION
      Mathematics instructional programs should foster the development of number and operation sense so that all students—
      • understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems;
    • STANDARD 2: PATTERNS, FUNCTIONS, AND ALGEBRA
      Mathematics instructional programs should include attention to patterns, functions, symbols, and models so that all students—
      • understand various types of patterns and functional relationships;
      • use symbolic forms to represent and analyze mathematical situations and structures;
      • use mathematical models and analyze change in both real and abstract contexts.
    • STANDARD 3: GEOMETRY AND SPATIAL SENSE
      Mathematics instructional programs should include attention to geometry and spatial sense so that all students—
      • use visualization and spatial reasoning to solve problems both within and outside of mathematics.
    • STANDARD 4: MEASUREMENT
      Mathematics instructional programs should include attention to measurement so that all students—
      • understand attributes, units, and systems of measurement;
    • STANDARD 5: DATA ANALYSIS, STATISTICS, AND PROBABILITY
      Mathematics instructional programs should include attention to data analysis, statistics, and probability so that all students—
      • pose questions and collect, organize, and represent data to answer those questions;
    • STANDARD 6: PROBLEM SOLVING
      Mathematics instructional programs should focus on solving problems as part of understanding mathematics so that all students—
      • develop a disposition to formulate, represent, abstract, and generalize in situations within and outside mathematics;
    • STANDARD 8: COMMUNICATION
      Mathematics instructional programs should use communication to foster understanding of mathematics so that all students—
      • organize and consolidate their mathematical thinking to communicate with others;
      • express mathematical ideas coherently and clearly to peers, teachers, and others;
      • extend their mathematical knowledge by considering the thinking and strategies of others;
    • STANDARD 9: CONNECTIONS
      Mathematics instructional programs should emphasize connections to foster understanding of mathematics so that all students—
      • recognize and use connections among different mathematical ideas;
      • recognize, use, and learn about mathematics in contexts outside of mathematics.
    • STANDARD 10: REPRESENTATION
      Mathematics instructional programs should emphasize mathematical representations to foster understanding of mathematics so that all students—
      • use representations to model and interpret physical, social, and mathematical phenomena.
  • Geography
    Geography for Life: National Geography Standards, 1994
    • THE WORLD IN SPATIAL TERMS
      Geography studies the relationships between people, places, and environments by mapping information about them into a spatial context. The geographically informed person knows and understands:
      • How to use maps and other geographic representations, tools and technologies to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective
      • How to use mental maps to organize information about people, places, and environments in a spatial context
      • How to analyze the spatial organization of people, places, and environments on Earth’s surface
    • PLACES AND REGIONS
      The identities and lives of individuals and people are rooted in particular places and in those human constructs called regions. The geographically informed person knows and understands:
      • The physical and human characteristics of places
      • That people create regions to interpret Earth’s complexity
      • How culture and experience influence people’s perceptions of places and regions
    • PHYSICAL SYSTEMS
      Physical processes shape Earth’s surface and interact with plant and animal life to create, sustain, and modify ecosystems. The geographically informed person knows and understands:
      • The physical processes that shape the patterns of Earth’s surface
      • The characteristics and spatial distribution of ecosystems on Earth’s surface
    • HUMAN SYSTEMS
      People are central to geography in that human activities help shape Earth’s surface, human settlements and structures are part of Earth’s surface, and humans compete for control of Earth’s surface. The geographically informed person knows and understands:
      • The characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth’s surface
      • The characteristics, distribution, and complexity of Earth’s cultural mosaics
    • ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIETY
      The physical environment is modified by human activities, largely as a consequence of the ways in which human societies value and use Earth’s natural resources, and human activities are also influenced by Earth’s physical features and processes. The geographically informed person knows and understands:
      • How human actions modify the physical environment
      • How physical systems affect human systems
      • The changes that occur in the meaning, use, distribution, and importance of resources
    • THE USES OF GEOGRAPHY
      Knowledge of geography enables people to develop an understanding of the relationships between people, places, and environments over time — that is, of Earth as it was, is, and might be. The geographically informed person knows and understands:
      • How to apply geography to interpret the present and plan for the future
  • Technology
    The International Society for Technology Education From http://www.iste.org and http://www.edtech.sandi.net/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_download&gid=349&Itemid=229
    • BASIC OPERATIONS AND CONCEPTS
      • Students demonstrate a sound understanding of the nature and operation of technology systems.
      • Students are proficient in the use of technology.
    • SOCIAL, ETHICAL AND HUMAN ISSUES
      • Students practice responsible use of technology systems, information, and software.
      • Students develop positive attitudes toward technology uses that support lifelong learning, collaboration, personal pursuits, and productivity.
    • TECHNOLOGY PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS
      • Students use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity.
      • Students use productivity tools to collaborate in constructing technology-enhanced models, prepare publications, and produce other creative works.
    • TECHNOLOGY COMMUNICATION TOOLS
      • Students use telecommunications to collaborate, publish, and interact with peers, experts, and other audiences.
      • Students use a variety of media and formats to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences.
    • TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH TOOLS
      • Students use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources.
      • Students use technology tools to process data and report results.
      • Students evaluate and select new information resources and technological innovations based on the appropriateness for specific tasks.
    • TECHNOLOGY PROBLEM- SOLVING AND DECISION-MAKING TOOLS
      • Students employ technology in the development of strategies for solving problems in the real world.
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