Climate & Climate Change

Summer 2011 Heat Wave

(Part of the PAESTA In The News - Current Events in Earth and Space Science Series. This series compiles current resources and background materials for recent scientific events in the news. Questions are provided with each topic, written across Bloom's Taxonomic Scale, and can be used for classroom discussion and/or as a writing prompt at the beginning/middle/end of an instructional unit.)

Cemetery Investigation - Tombstone Weathering

A cemetery provides an ideal location for student investigative research. Cemeteries are easily accessible in all communities and provide a field location for a non-cookbook style of laboratory activity. Students can examine tombstone weathering rates, reinforcing rock identification. Students may collect cemetery demographic data, comparing the longevity and survivorship data with local environmental events and impacts.

The Heat Engine - Two mini activities exploring convection currents

This is an activity that was modified from PDE's SAS resource portal.  It offers two mini activities, one student investigation and one teaching demonstration, for exploring the movement of convection currents. This lesson is set up to have students use Claim, Evidence and Reasoning to both predict and analyze the investigations.

Exploring Regional Climate Patterns and Generalizing the Results to Enhance Deep Conceptualization

An understanding of climate science and the processes that control Earth’s past, present and future climate is increasingly important for students both as potential scientists and as future decision-makers in our society. Before students can begin grappling with the concept of anthropogenic climate change, they must build the necessary vocabulary and background knowledge for participating in meaningful discussion about the natural climate system.

The Power of a Hurricane: Using Memorable Storms to Teach Inference and Graphing Skills

Using real-time or near-real-time data in the classroom can form the basis for exciting guided inquiry lessons that build necessary scientific thinking skills. Choosing data from recent newsworthy events also motivates students to learn because they feel personally connected to the observations surrounding such events.

Comparing Seasons in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres

This lesson was used as an inquiry activity to allow students to analyze recorded Near Surface Average Temperature data in order to make claims about the differences between seasons in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres of the Earth. Students were additionally asked to construct a Temperature vs. Month line graph from a set of recorded data to determine if there was an observable difference between average temperatures in the Northern Hemispere and the Southern Hemisphere.

Weather and Climate Unit Big Idea

(School District of Philadelphia)

Latitude and Longitude Scavenger Hunt

This lesson can be used to engage students in the study of the world's climate zones by helping them identify places on the world globe.

The Latitude and Longitude Scavenger Hunt activity provides students with a review of reading lines of latitude and longitude on a globe. This activity can also be used to pre-assess student understanding of how lines of latitude and longitude help locate and identify specific places on Earth.

GEO-Logic Problem: Sailing the Surface Oceanographic Currents

This logic problem in a grid format is designed to help students develop logical reasoning and problem-solving skills. In addition to developing skill sets, the content knowledge of the students will be increased in the area of the names and locations of surface oceanographic currents. Extension exercises have students address the geographic and temperature distribution across currents and ocean basins.