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Topic(s):

Atmosphere, Climate, Elementary (K-4)

 

Scenario:

Climate Poem

Climate and Air

The air around us moves and behaves in different ways.
The weather that happens there changes with the days.
A place's climate is all it's weather, something like a sum.
Could you take all the days in a year and describe them as one?

You talk about the weather. You can feel it in the air.
Need a hat in winter cold or shorts when it is fair.
All those clothes in your closet might just be a clue.
About the climate where you live. I have a coat, do you?

If you could look in the closets of people far away.
See all the clothes they could wear on any given day.
Think of it like you are playing a climate guessing game.
Do you think that their clothes and yours would look the same?

If you wanted to visit an Inuit and stay for awhile.
Packed a trunk full of clothes and traveled all of those miles.
Thought about how the air feels there in a polar climate.
What would be packed in your trunk? How would you describe it?

If you wanted to spend some time on a tropical beach.
Packed your bag, took a boat to an island you could reach.
Thought about the air that's there blowing across the sand.
What would you need to be wearing when you hit the land?

If you decided to try to cross a desert on a camel.
Knowing that the humps they have are needed for that travel.
Thought about how hot and dry a desert climate can be.
What would you wear to give you shade instead of a tree?

If you went on safari in a jungle in the tropics.
Trying to learn about frogs, plants and other topics.
Thought about the hot, damp air there feeling oh, so sticky.
Would packing for your visit to that climate zone be tricky?

Now think about how the air usually feels where you live.
I'm going to pack for a visit based on the advice that you give.
If I stayed for quite awhile, let's say, a year or more.
What would be on a list for me to bring along for sure?

Climate and Air 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 air.
  • How are weather and climate alike? How are they different?
  • What does the temperature of the air in your neighborhood have to do with your climate?
  • What does the amount of water in the air in your neighborhood have to do with your climate?
  • What climate words would you use to describe the air in your neighborhood?
  • How is the air in your neighborhood the same or different from the air in other places on Earth with a different climate?

 

Date: 11/20/2009

Scenario Images:

Climate and Air
The Earth is surrounded by a thin blanket of gases called the atmosphere. The atmosphere protects the Earth from the harsh rays of the Sun. Weather happens in the atmosphere and over time that weather determines the climate. In some places the air is cold or hot and dry. Other places have humid (full of water vapor) air or air that changes a lot with the seasons. Water, carbon and nitrogen all move from the Earth's surface into the Earth's atmosphere in cycles. These cycles are important to Earth's living things. 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 of the year (seasons). 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



Air Temp
Air temperatures around the world. What do the colors mean? The Sun warms Earth's land, water, living things and air. Some places on Earth have hot air and some places have cold air. In many places the air temperature changes from hot to cold with the seasons. Watch this and see how air temperature changes with the seasons and from year to year around the world. Image credit: http://climviz.org



Cloud Cover
Cloud cover around the world. What do the colors mean? Clouds are weather indicators. They can tell us about the weather now and how the weather might change. The amount of cloud cover in a place over a long period of time affects the climate. Watch this and see how cloud cover changes during the year and from year to year around the world. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory



Resources:

 

Climate: Air (Cycle A)
Use these kid sites to learn more about climate and air.


 

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


 

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

  • 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.
  • 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: Air (Cycle A)
This investigation explores the difference between weather and climate and how air temperature 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? Do this investigation and explore your family's climate by looking at one climate and weather indicator, high temperatures. You will use your birthday and the birthdays of your family to build a "family climate" profile.

Class Climate: Temperature for Teachers
Difficulty: beginner

 

Carbon Dioxide and Air Temperature (Cycle A)
What's in the air? Not just the oxygen living things need, that's for sure. The air is a mixture of gasses and tiny pieces of solids. It has oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and water vapor gasses, to name just a few. It has dust and ice crystals and pollen, too. The Earth's atmosphere, it's blanket of air, keeps the Earth warm.

In this investigation you will explore how changes in what's in the air changes the temperature of the air. You can use the tanks from this investigation to explore how air temperature affects the water cycle and melting of glaciers and polar ice caps, too. Want to learn more about how the atmosphere affects water and land? Try these investigations:

Carbon Dioxide and Air Temperature for Teachers
Difficulty: beginner

 

What Would You Take on Your Trip? (Cycle A)
You know more about climate than you think. If you were going on a trip to the desert, what would you pack in your suitcase for you visit? What if you were going to a tropical jungle? Give this interactive game a try and see how climate smart you already are. Pick one of the biomes and see what else you can learn about it and the climate there. Use what you learn to write a story or a make scrapbook about your tip. Here's a great place to start.

What Would You Take? for Teachers
Difficulty: beginner

 

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

  • How are weather and climate alike? How are they different?
  • What does the temperature of the air in your neighborhood have to do with your climate?
  • What does the amount of water in the air in your neighborhood have to do with your climate?
  • What climate words would you use to describe the air in your neighborhood?
  • How is the air in your neighborhood the same or different from the air in other places on Earth with a different climate?

Difficulty: beginner

 

Design a Climate: Air 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 air:

  • How are weather and climate alike? How are they different?
  • What does the temperature of the air in your neighborhood have to do with your climate?
  • What does the amount of water in the air in your neighborhood have to do with your climate?
  • What climate words would you use to describe the air in your neighborhood?
  • How is the air in your neighborhood the same or different from the air 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
    • 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
      • Life Science (Std C)
        • The characteristics of organisms
        • Organisms and environments
      • Earth and Space Science (Std D)
        • Changes in earth and sky
      • Science and Technology (Std E)
        • Abilities to distinguish between natural objects and objects made by humans
      • Science in Personal and Social Perspectives (Std F)
        • Characteristics and changes in populations
        • 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—
      • select and use different representational systems, including coordinate geometry and graph theory;
      • 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;
      • apply a variety of techniques, tools, and formulas for determining measurements.
    • 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;
      • monitor and reflect on their mathematical thinking in solving problems.
    • 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;
      • use the language of mathematics as a precise means of mathematical expression.
    • STANDARD 9: CONNECTIONS
      Mathematics instructional programs should emphasize connections to foster understanding of mathematics so that all students—
      • 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 use technology resources for solving problems and making informed decisions.
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