Big Idea 7: Earth Systems and Patterns

The scientific theory of the evolution of Earth states that changes in our planet are driven by the flow of energy and the cycling of matter through dynamic interactions among the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, geosphere, and biosphere, and the resources used to sustain human civilization on Earth.
General Information
Number: SC.6.E.7
Title: Earth Systems and Patterns
Type: Big Idea
Subject: Science
Grade: 6
Body of Knowledge: Earth and Space Science

Related Benchmarks

This cluster includes the following benchmarks.

Related Access Points

This cluster includes the following access points.

Independent

SC.6.E.7.In.1
Recognize that heat is a flow of energy that moves through Earth’s land, air, and water in different ways, including conduction, convection, and radiation.
SC.6.E.7.In.2
Identify components in the water cycle, including evaporation, condensation, precipitation, ground water, and runoff.
SC.6.E.7.In.3
Identify the way elements of weather are measured, including temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, and precipitation.
SC.6.E.7.In.4
Recognize that Earth consists of different parts, including air that is over the Earth (atmosphere), water that covers much of the Earth (hydrosphere), and the parts that support all living things on Earth (biosphere).
SC.6.E.7.In.5
Recognize that there are general patterns of weather that move around Earth, and in North America the patterns typically move from west to east.
SC.6.E.7.In.6
Identify climate as the expected weather patterns in a region.
SC.6.E.7.In.7
Identify possible effects of hurricanes and other natural disasters on humans in Florida.
SC.6.E.7.In.8
Identify ways humans get ready for severe storms and protect themselves from sun exposure.
SC.6.E.7.In.9
Identify that the atmosphere protects Earth from radiation from the Sun and regulates the temperature.

Supported

SC.6.E.7.Su.1
Recognize that heat can transfer from the Sun to the water, land, and air. Recognize that heat can transfer from the Sun to the water, land, and air.
SC.6.E.7.Su.2
Recognize parts of the water cycle such as clouds (condensation), rain (precipitation), and evaporation.
SC.6.E.7.Su.3
Recognize the way temperature and wind speed are measured.
SC.6.E.7.Su.4
Recognize where living things are found (biosphere) and where the air is found (atmosphere) on Earth.
SC.6.E.7.Su.5
Recognize that there are patterns of weather that move.
SC.6.E.7.Su.6
Identify the major characteristics of climate in Florida, including temperature and precipitation.
SC.6.E.7.Su.7
Recognize possible effects of severe storms, hurricanes, or other natural disasters in Florida.
SC.6.E.7.Su.8
Recognize ways people prepare for severe storms and protect themselves from sun exposure.
SC.6.E.7.Su.9
Recognize that the air that surrounds Earth (atmosphere) protects living things from the intense heat of the Sun.

Participatory

SC.6.E.7.Pa.1
Recognize that the Sun is a source of heat.
SC.6.E.7.Pa.2
Recognize that rain comes from clouds.
SC.6.E.7.Pa.3
Recognize different types of weather conditions, including hot/cold, raining/not raining, and windy/calm.
SC.6.E.7.Pa.4
Recognize that air covers Earth (atmosphere).
SC.6.E.7.Pa.5
Recognize where to go in severe weather situations or drills at school and at home.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this topic.

Image/Photograph

Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, Lightning: A Preparedness Guide:

This PDF included at this site has information about family preparedness plans and safety rules, and information about thunderstorms, tornadoes, and lightning such as facts, when and where they occur, and how they form.

Type: Image/Photograph

Lesson Plans

Earth's Spheres WebQuest:

This WebQuest is designed for 6th grade students. Students will work individually or in pairs to explore interactive websites and answer the questions on their Task Sheet. This is designed as an introduction to Earth's spheres (Hydrosphere, Atmosphere, Cryosphere, Biosphere, Geosphere) and how these spheres interact to support life on our planet.

Type: Lesson Plan

Climate and Careers!:

Students will explore chosen outdoor careers and how the careers connect to certain climates based on temperature and precipitation. The guiding question states "How might you use evidence from weather data and dot plot displays to allow you to identify which location's climate would be best for your career and why?" Students will collect data online and display the data using dot plots on posters with analysis using the mean. Students will engage in collaboration throughout. A power point is included with all necessary resources.

Type: Lesson Plan

Currents and Temperature:

Students will construct graphs from existing weather data sets establishing statistical relationships between air temperature over land in proximity to large bodies of warm water with continuous currents, and construct a model to visually support causality for those relationships. Students will be able to understand that ocean currents can have an effect on local weather conditions, influencing temperature (and precipitation with extended lesson), and use that understanding to make plausible explanations for the differences in temperature and precipitation between two geographically close Florida cities of a similar latitude.

Type: Lesson Plan

Journey Through the Spheres of the Earth:

The student will investigate Earth's five spheres through a hands-on activity in which they collect data and construct explanations through a lab simulating how interactions occur on the planet from one sphere to another. Students will discuss picture examples of the five Spheres, collect data to generate their own bar graph, and experience interactions between the five Spheres on Earth. Students will be able to identify and differentiate impacts and interactions between the Biosphere, Hydrosphere, Geosphere, Cryosphere, and Atmosphere.

Type: Lesson Plan

Atmospheric Layers:

In this 5E lesson, students will model the layers of the atmosphere through an interactive lab that looks at characteristics of the atmosphere by analyzing the atmospheric temperature profile and the special features that can be found in each layer. Students will look at the different layers of the atmosphere to determine how the atmosphere helps sustain life on Earth.

Type: Lesson Plan

Fluid Streams Affecting Weather :

The student will complete a series of stations in order to explain how jet streams and ocean currents influence local weather. Students will rotate through six stations in order to gain background knowledge about jet streams and ocean currents. The students will also answer questions at each station to elaborate their understanding of jet streams and ocean currents and how they affect local weather. After the stations are completed, the teacher will lead a whole group discussion to connect the student's learning to the big ideas of the lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

Spheres of Influence: Interactions of Earth's Spheres and Their Effect on Ocean Currents:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text, maps, and data tables intended to support reading in the content area. The article, "Climate Change Could Stall Atlantic Ocean Current" explains how interactions between Earth's spheres can have a global impact on ocean currents, climate, and weather. This lesson includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Florida Water Hazard Warning Simulation:

This lesson is a culminating lesson in the Florida Landforms & Water Unit that gives students the ability to use their knowledge of water and potential weather hazards that affect different Florida landforms. This lesson allows students to create a computer program that demonstrates a flood hazard and how to monitor it.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Water Cycle: If/Then and Loops:

This lesson introduces the water cycle to enhance the understanding of how bodies of water and landforms interact to form a complex system. This lesson provides students the opportunity to see how systems can be found in many different forms from science to computers. This lesson will also introduce pseudocode as another form of a procedure. This is lesson 3 of 4 in the Florida Landform and Water Unit.

Type: Lesson Plan

Amazing Insulating Atmosphere:

In this Engineering Design Challenge, students will design a terrarium and then monitor the levels of water, gases, and temperature in the environment. The factor being changed will be the layers of plastic wrap covering the terrarium. Students will examine how the thickness of the atmosphere affects the health of the plants in the terrarium. Students will conduct research, work in teams, and then finally create a presentation to the class sharing their findings.

Type: Lesson Plan

Withstanding A Hurricane:

Students will design a weather tower that can withstand high winds in this Engineering Design Challenge. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Pokemontures App.:

In this Model Eliciting Activity (MEA), students will understand how global patterns affect the temperature of an area by studying the features of an application's virtual creatures called the "Pokemontures." These creatures have the ability to match the temperature of their environment. As students study the Pokemontures' features and calculate their approximate temperature, they will apply concepts linked to the patterns that affect temperature. Students will also review heat transfers and sea/land breezes with the use of this MEA.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Storm-Chasers: Weather & Climate:

In this MEA, students will use their knowledge of weather and climate to select a location for a camera crew to visit in order to get high quality video footage of severe weather such as thunderstorms, blizzards, tornadoes, or hurricanes. The decision will be made using data about important weather factors such as air pressure, humidity, temperature, wind direction, and wind speed.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Bottle Earth:

Students will learn about Earth's five spheres (geosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere) and how they interact with one another. First, they will watch two short videos. Then, they will create a graphic organizer while viewing a PowerPoint presentation. Finally, in small groups, they will create a closed terrarium (in a bottle) to represent the biosphere of the Earth. They will investigate how ecological systems achieve balance over time.

Type: Lesson Plan

Today's Weather Alert:

The students will learn about various types of hazardous weather, including hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, floods, and sun exposure. The students will watch a newscast of the Great Blizzard of 1977. They will participate in a carousel activity, which allows them to think about how hazardous weather affects those living in Florida. Additionally, students will work in small groups on creating a 2-3 minute news broadcast video about hazardous weather affecting their area.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sea Ice Analysis Grade 6:

The changing climate is an important topic for both scientific analysis and worldly knowledge. This lesson uses data collected by the National Snow and Ice Data Center to create and use statistical analysis as a tool to evaluate the mean and variation from the mean of sea ice loss.

Type: Lesson Plan

Cool Special Effects:

In this MEA, students will apply the concepts of heat transfer, especially convection. Students will analyze factors such as temperature that affect the behavior of fluids as they form convection currents.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Natural Disasters:

The students will learn about various types of natural disasters, including hurricanes, droughts, tornadoes, wildfires, earthquakes, heat waves, etc. The students will watch a video of some of the worst natural disasters in recorded history. They will participate in a discussion about what natural disasters occur in Florida and how people may be affected by them. Additionally, students will work in small groups to research and create an informational presentation, including a model, about a particular natural disaster to share with the class.

Type: Lesson Plan

Blown Away:

A STEM Engineering Design Challenge

Learning Goals

  • Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of hazardous weather conditions, specifically hurricanes, and identify ways for humans to protect themselves during those conditions.
  • Students will understand how area of various shapes can enhance the stability of a structure.


Students will create a free-standing structure that can withstand hurricane-force winds. Students will demonstrate their understanding of surface area by constraining to sets of parameters for their structures.

Type: Lesson Plan

Lightning Strikes! :

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that addresses what causes lightning and thunder. The text also outlines ways to stay safe during a lightning storm. This informational text is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Jet Stream: Rivers of Air:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area.  The article begins by defining the jet stream and then describes how the Earth's rotation and axis affect the movement of wind bands around the earth. Interactions from variables such as the locations of high and low pressure systems, warm and cold air, and seasonal changes are also discussed. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Building Materials and Locations :

Students will apply their knowledge of hazardous weather to determine a system to rank where to build a new school and to select the type of building materials that should be used.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Ups and Downs of It All:

This lesson will focus on the standard SC.6.E.7.2, which provides opportunity for students to investigate how water moves between the atmosphere and hydrosphere resulting in patterns that make Earth unique.

Type: Lesson Plan

Movement of Water Between Two Spheres:

Students will use words and pictures to explore the water cycle, focusing on the movement of water from the hydrosphere to the atmosphere and back again.

Type: Lesson Plan

I Will Not Fear My Earth Sphere:

Students will demonstrate their understanding of the earth's spheres by creating a travel brochure, highlighting each sphere at a destination of their choice.

Note: This lesson only addresses the first part of the standard; students will need to study sphere interactions in another lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

Location and Magnitude of Conduction, Convection, and Radiation:

Students will explore heat transfer by conducting a lab in which they will identify examples of conduction, convection, and radiation in the lab setup and compare temperature values in different locations.

Type: Lesson Plan

Energy Around Us:

Students will be able to classify the different forms of heat transfer that are evident during experiments.

Type: Lesson Plan

Heat Transfer: Conduction, Convection, Radiation:

Students will explore methods of heat transfer through conduction, convection, and radiation.

Type: Lesson Plan

Water, Water Everywhere!:

This lesson addresses current events regarding flooding in St. Petersburg, Florida. Students will create a water removal device from materials provided then use a 3D scanner to 3D print their devices.

Type: Lesson Plan

Can You Stand the Wind and Rain?:

In this lesson, students will:

  • Investigate how natural disasters have affected human life in Florida.
  • Add, subtract, and multiply multi-digit decimals using the standard algorithm.
  • Find a percent of a quantity as a rate per 100 and then solve problems involving finding the whole given a part and the percent.

Type: Lesson Plan

Heat Smack-Down:

In this lesson, students will explore thermal energy transfer.

Type: Lesson Plan

Heat Transfers Hands:

This lesson will help students describe different types of heat transfer through discussion, hand motions, and a craft activity.

Type: Lesson Plan

Science Island Weather Report:

In this lesson, students will demonstrate knowledge on how various factors will affect climate and subsequently affect the weather of an area. Students will review the ways that climate is changed (mountains, ocean currents, global winds, latitude, altitude, etc.) and hypothesize how that change will affect the weather of an area.

Type: Lesson Plan

I'm Hot and You're Not! :

The students will investigate the effects of solar radiation on air, land, and oceans.

Type: Lesson Plan

Moving Heat (Convection, Conduction, and Radiation):

This lesson is hot! In this lesson, students will learn to distinguish between the three mechanisms by which heat is transferred. This lesson is high impact but low on consumable resources, allowing you to set it up in any classroom. Simple resources are used to represent heat and illustrate how heat is transferred between Earth systems.

Type: Lesson Plan

Changes in the Atmosphere:

In this lesson, students will connect the water cycle and weather.

Type: Lesson Plan

Importance of Ocean Currents:

Students investigate the relationship between ocean currents and local weather in measurable terms of temperature and precipitation.

Type: Lesson Plan

Research How Hurricanes Affect Human Life in Florida:

Students will conduct research for information about the effects of hurricanes in the State of Florida. At the end of this investigation, students will be instructed to produce a presentation that includes hurricane statistics and the city requirements for preparing for a hurricane.

Type: Lesson Plan

Human Protecting Themselves from Hazardous Weather :

This lesson will use station activities to engage students in the process of understanding how people protect themselves from hazardous weather and sun exposure.

Type: Lesson Plan

Heat Transfers: Conduction, Convection, Radiation :

In this lesson, students will be able to differentiate among conduction, convection, and radiation by modeling each type of heat transfer in a laboratory setting. Students will identify each heat transfer according to its characteristics.

Type: Lesson Plan

Take a Walk with Heat Transfer:

This lesson uses graphic organizers, a 4 corners activity and a gallery walk to instruct and assess students on their knowledge regarding the differences between convection, conduction, and radiation.

Type: Lesson Plan

Interactions Among the Spheres!:

The lesson uses several activities to teach students about Earth's spheres. Some of the activities are:

  • A Four Corners (5 spheres) game that gives students the opportunity to move in class.
  • Making vocabulary cards with illustrations.
  • Visual tools to help students comprehend the differences between Earth's spheres.
  • A PowerPoint to challenges students to make every day life connections to the each sphere.

Type: Lesson Plan

The World of Sphere Interactions:

In this activity, students will gain an understanding of the Earth's spheres and how they interact with each other. After a discussion of the Earth's spheres (atmosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and cryosphere), students will complete an exploration activity which consists of a colorful drawing of a specific environment and identifying the spheres, the make-up of each sphere and how the spheres interact to maintain a stable system. Students will present their drawings to the class, with an opportunity for other students to ask questions and identify possible missing or incorrect information, and students will be allowed to make any needed corrections to their drawing. The students will then create a 3D model of an environment that illustrates their understanding of Earth's spheres and how they interact with each other to maintain a stable environment.

Type: Lesson Plan

3D Model of a Water Cycle:

Students will be able to show the movement of energy in the water cycle in each of the specified location and be able to explain how it is related to the temperature and precipitation in each city each month. The research and 3D model that has been done on the water cycle will apply how the cycling of water between the atmosphere and hydrosphere has an effect on weather patterns and climate in their specific city.

Type: Lesson Plan

Troposphere vs. Stratosphere :

This lesson uses a variety of activities, such as a KWL, Venn diagram, brochure, and comic strip, to address the troposphere and stratosphere. Students investigate the composition of these layers and their relationship to the insulation of earth and the protection of life on earth.

Type: Lesson Plan

From Andrew to Katrina: Ways to Protect Ourselves in Such Disasters:

We're going to rock you like a hurricane!

Students will identify ways to protect themselves from hurricanes by writing alternative lyrics to the tune of their choice.

Type: Lesson Plan

How Earth's Spheres Play Nicely Together:

This lesson plan will guide middle-grade students from understanding Earth's spheres to understanding how these spheres interact with each other. This topic will also address how different events, both naturally occurring and as a result of human impact, can affect one or more sphere.

Type: Lesson Plan

Conduction and Convection in Pictures:

This lesson will allow teachers to reach students with a range of learning styles. Providing pictures, animations, teacher demonstrations, and small group interactions will provide the concepts of conduction and convection to be relayed in a simple yet effective manner to enable students to grasp the necessary learning objectives.

Type: Lesson Plan

Weather and Climate:

This lesson will help students learn to differentiate between weather and climate.

Type: Lesson Plan

Conduction, Convection, Radiation:

This lesson uses a PowerPoint to guide the students and teacher through information related to conduction, convection, and radiation. Student will complete an interactive station activity, and then create a poster of the information they learned.

Type: Lesson Plan

Atmospheric Composition:

In this lesson, students will explore the four structural layers of the atmosphere and the gaseous compositional make-up of Earth's atmosphere. The lesson is introduced with prior knowledge review and activation, presentation of the standard and learning objectives, and a small individual/group activity.

The focal point of this lesson centers around the transfer and summarization of content information from video and reading resources to Interactive Content Cards (ICCs). Students are to be provided source material (video, reading activity, dictionary resources, Power Point slides, etc.) and Interactive Content Cards. The lesson transitions to a series of demonstrations and activities. Students create and use the ICCs throughout the lesson. Students will have to formatively demonstrate the structural and compositional atmospheric content using these ICCs.

Finally, students will submit their ICCs Packet as the summative assessment, demonstrating the completion of the content objectives.

Type: Lesson Plan

Interactions Between Spheres of the Earth:

In this lesson, students will review the spheres of the earth and learn how these spheres interact.

Type: Lesson Plan

Surface Current and Climate:

Students will compare and contrast the climate of various cities and relate it to ocean surface currents.

Type: Lesson Plan

Earth Systems Interactions:

A two-day lesson plan in which students differentiate and show interactions among the geosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere.

Type: Lesson Plan

Clouds and Humidity:

Students will make observations about a cloud fraction map of January 2007. Next, they will use computers to research locations around the world and record relative humidity averages for the month of January. Finally, the students will analyze the data and their observations of the cloud fractions map to make written inferences as to how relative humidity and cloud coverage may be related.

Type: Lesson Plan

Convection Currents:

Students observe a demonstration, read an article, answer questions, and make a drawing to further their understanding of deep ocean convection currents.

Type: Lesson Plan

Defense Against Hurricanes :

Living in Florida, we are often faced with dangerous hurricanes. This lesson will help students identify three primary hurricane threats, known as the "Triple Threat" according to National Weather Service. Students will also create strategies to defend against these hazards.

Type: Lesson Plan

Interacting with Spheres:

In this lesson, students will look at images and discuss how the spheres are interacting. They will then read an article, again identifying sphere interactions. Students will complete a thinking map or a constructed response as assessments.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Floridan Aquifer:

This is a two-day lesson that addresses the correlation between the annual rainfall and the human impact upon the Florida aquifer.

Type: Lesson Plan

Ocean Currents' Affect on Local Weather:

Students will explore the major ocean currents of the world and weather conditions in given areas to analyze the affect of the currents on local weather conditions.

Type: Lesson Plan

Surface Ocean Currents and Coastal Temperatures:

Student groups of 4 will use a surface ocean currents map, a latitude map, a coastal areas water temperature map, and a table of temperatures for coastal cities to predict and determine the effect of surface ocean currents on coastal land temperatures. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Sand, Soil, Water Lab:

Students will use a heat lamp to heat up sand, soil, and water. Each student will predict which substance will heat up the fastest and what substance will cool the fastest. As they heat the substances with a heat lamp, they will observe and record each substances temperature every two minutes for ten minutes. Then they will turn off the heat lamp and record the temperatures every two minutes for an additional ten minutes. They will graph time vs. temperature and analyze their results. After graphing they will answer questions pertaining to sea breezes and land breezes and how they pertain to the lab.

Type: Lesson Plan

Playing on Thin Ice:

In this lesson, students will investigate the difference between melting land ice and melting sea ice as it relates to sea level rise. After guided exploration of Florida's coastline and sea level rise, students will write a letter to local government expressing concern for sea level rise and its impact on Florida's coastline.

Type: Lesson Plan

Changing Albedo in Antarctica:

This lesson is an interactive puzzle activity utilizing albedo to explore interactions of the 5 spheres in Antarctica.

Type: Lesson Plan

Convectional Heat Transfer Using Pinwheels:

Through a review of molecules and how they react to heat along with air pressure demonstrated by a convection pinwheel, students will locate the direction heat travels.

Type: Lesson Plan

Earth, Wind, and Fire?:

This lesson will develop understanding of the causes of global wind patterns and apply this understanding to hypothesize about how this motion might effect life on Earth.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Human Temperature Tower:

Students will utilize step ladders and digital thermometers in this hands-on activity to collect and analyze data about the range of temperatures between the surface of Earth and the atmosphere just above the surface. Students will measure the temperature of the surface, the air above at 10 cm, 1 meter, and 3 meters. By discovering that the surface is warmer than the air just above it, and the temperature drops as you go up the ladder, students will better understand the relationship between solar radiation and surface/atmospheric conduction.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Layers of the Atmosphere, Guest Starring the Integers! :

Students will learn the functions and characteristics of the four main layers of Earth's atmosphere. They will also determine the thickness of each layer and display them to scale. Students will plot the layers' temperatures, noting the change in temperature from the bottom to the top on a number line.

Type: Lesson Plan

World Wind - A global wind overview:

By examining a model of current wind patterns in the atmosphere at different levels, students will connect the convection cycles of the atmosphere and the Coriolis effect with land and oceanic temperature differences to better understand how Florida's weather develops.

Type: Lesson Plan

Spheres all around us!:

In this lesson, the students will learn about the five spheres of the Earth and how they interact.

Type: Lesson Plan

Keep Your Cool, Florida:

Students will apply the concepts of heat and temperature to a familiar scenario of a parked car heating in the sun. They will predict, observe and explain the temperature data collected by University of Georgia researchers. Students will compare and contrast heat flow in polar and tropical climates. They will identify examples of conduction, convection and radiation. They will discuss how heat flow management is necessary for survival. They will make observations of animal behavior from a video clip and make inferences from those observations. They will read a non-fiction article and cite evidence from it.

Type: Lesson Plan

Story of Interactions between Earth's Spheres:

From the standpoint of an organism (biosphere), the students will describe interactions between that organism and the other spheres by creating a storybook including written descriptions and illustrations.

Type: Lesson Plan

Mixing the Heat:

This lesson focuses on the three mechanisms that are fundamental to heat transfer between earth's systems. Learners will be exposed to engaging instructional components that challenge prior knowledge, stimulate critical thinking, and enable long term retention of concepts related to these mechanisms.

Type: Lesson Plan

Radiation vs. Conduction:

Students will differentiate among radiant and conductive energy heat transfer. First, they will determine if pre-printed pictures are examples of radiation or conduction heat transfer. After a discussion of the pictures, they will test, document, and compare the time it takes to melt wax on a toothpick on asphalt and one in the air. They must determine which event was a heat transfer via radiation and conduction. Finally, they will create a multi-media presentation of their investigation.

Type: Lesson Plan

Pinkney's Weather and Climate:

Students will learn the difference between and weather and climate.

Type: Lesson Plan

An Inquiry into Albedo, Land Surface and AirTemperture:

This lesson is designed to provide a hands on inquiry on Sphere Interactions by investigating the relationship between Surface Albedo and Atmospheric Temperature. In this activity, students will develop an Argument Driven Inquiry (ADI) with the Guiding question: "What is the relationship between the land surface Albedo and Atmospheric Temperature?"

Type: Lesson Plan

What's My Climate?:

Students will watch an animated video and then take part in an activity which uses a combination of jelly beans (each color representing a different type of weather event) and bags (to represent locales) to help students learn how to distinguish between weather and climate.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Influence of Ocean Currents :

This lesson focuses on a portion of the standard, specifically how ocean currents (surface and deep) influence climate. The content is delivered in the form of a PowerPoint and allows for the students to explore the lesson through lab activities and discussion.

Type: Lesson Plan

Rain or Sun? Warm or Cold? :

Students will understand or have a better understanding of the difference between weather and climate by the end of the lesson. The teacher will discuss the two concepts and then move on to show students a WeatherSTEM station in their city and the data that it yields.

Type: Lesson Plan

This is a Disaster!:

Students will be creating a poster to highlight local natural disasters and ways to prepare for them.

Type: Lesson Plan

You've been interacting with...WHO??!!:

Students will learn how Earth's spheres interact with each other and how we as humans play apart in that interaction.

Type: Lesson Plan

Our Atmosphere: How does it protect life and insulate the planet?:

In this lesson, students will define the composition, air pressure, and temperature of the atmosphere. They will identify and describe the structure of the atmosphere. By demonstrating the previous knowledge, students will then describe how the atmosphere protects life and insulates our planet.

Note: teachers using this lesson must have access to the Fusion Textbook in order to completely address the Explain portion of the 5E lesson model herein.

Type: Lesson Plan

TO conduction or NOT, THAT is the Question!!:

In this lesson students will not only learn about conduction they wil be able to feel it, for themselves. Students wil also be pick out conduction in a line and explain why it is or why it is not conduction.

Type: Lesson Plan

It's Getting Hot in Here:

Students will look at heat transfer and investigate radiation, conduction, and convection.

Type: Lesson Plan

POE - Solar Energy and Uneven Heating:

This POE explores the concept of uneven heating of Earth's surfaces by the sun through collecting and analyzing data and comparing results with a gallery walk.

Type: Lesson Plan

Let's Play Ball:

Students will investigate if the pitcher's mound and center field are the same temperature, since they are in the same location but have two different surfaces.

Type: Lesson Plan

Water Cycle and Earth's Spheres:

In this lesson, students will learn about Earth's spheres using the water cycle. The students will link each of the spheres with a part of the water cycle and have an opportunity to create a cartoon showing what they know.

Type: Lesson Plan

When Spheres Collide:

In this lesson, students will do various cooperative group and solo activities that will enable them to know what Earth's spheres are and how they interact with one another.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Heat is On...:

This is a short lesson used to expose students to heat transfer. Students will differentiate among radiation, conduction, and convection, the three mechanisms by which heat is transferred through Earth's system.

Type: Lesson Plan

Soil vs. Water: Which Gets Hotter?:

Students will set up and perform a basic experiment using beakers, soil, water, and a light source in order to compare and assess the different effects solar rays (represented by a heat lamp) have on soil as compared to water. This lab addresses a portion of Florida State Standard SC.6.E.7.5.

All recommended lab guides, tables, charts, and summative example questions are attached.

Type: Lesson Plan

Earth's Blanket:

In this lesson, students will learn the layers of the atmosphere and key properties of each. The students will then investigate the greenhouse effect and will model how the atmosphere holds heat for the Earth.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Wonder of Water:

In this lesson, students will explore the water (hydrologic) cycle is and how it affects weather and climate on Earth.

Type: Lesson Plan

Conduction, Convection, Radiation! What's the Breeze Now?:

In this lesson students will be exploring how radiant energy causes the temperature of different Earth materials to rise at different rates. Students will observe that this difference in temperature has direct effect on air movement. Students will reach to conceptual understanding of future trends.

Type: Lesson Plan

Water Cycle and Weather:

In this lesson, students will apply their knowledge of the water cycle to weather patterns. An interactive video will review the water cycle and a hands-on activity will have them apply their knowledge to how thunderstorms are formed.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Earth System: Energy Transfer:

This is a 5E lesson where students will work through three lab stations to learn about conduction, convection and radiation. This lesson will take two class periods for completion.

Type: Lesson Plan

Make a Planet Simulation:

The students will use a computer simulation to collect data about how the atmosphere and water affect the temperature of a planet. Students will make observations and infer how the atmosphere insulates and protects life.

Type: Lesson Plan

Water Cycle and Weather:

In this lesson, students will investigate the effects of the water cycle on Earth's weather. This includes the phase changes within the water cycle with key vocabulary words including evaporation, condensation, precipitation, transpiration.

Type: Lesson Plan

Name That Sphere!:

In this lesson, students will work towards a better understanding of the Earth's systems (geosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere) and how they interact with each other. With the use of class discussions and a cooperative carousel activity, students will be able to then create and explain a diagram showing these interactions.

Type: Lesson Plan

Earth's Awesome Spheres and Amazing Interactions:

In this activity students will explore the Earth's spheres and how they interact through various activities.

Type: Lesson Plan

Heating Up:

Students will explore the concept of heat transfer with an emphasis placed on conduction, convection, and radiation. Students will be able to do a continual brainstorming activity throughout the lesson. Students will watch heat transfer animations and complete a foldable on heat transfer in addition to completing a lab activity which will be followed by a summative quiz on heat transfer.

Type: Lesson Plan

Energy Transfer Through Earth's Systems:

The students will be observing three demonstrations stations concerning conduction, convection and radiation. The students will also explore the concept of energy transfer.

Type: Lesson Plan

Modeling Ocean Currents:

This is a highly engaging, student-centered inquiry lesson plan to teach students the concepts behind ocean currents. Students will collaborate and use Levels 3 and 4 extended thinking, and create models to teach their peers their individual group's concept.

Type: Lesson Plan

Wind, you blow me away!:

In this lesson students will observe heated air rising.  Specifically students will focus on the properties of land and water in relationship to heat and retention of heat. From this information students will conclude that the uneven heating of the earth's surface will cause the air in the atmosphere above to move.

Type: Lesson Plan

No Fear of Earth's Spheres:

In this lesson, students will explore Earth's systems and how they interact.

Type: Lesson Plan

Spheres Interact:

In this 6th grade lesson, students will work cooperatively in teams to review Earth's spheres and identify interactions among the spheres (hydrosphere, geosphere, biosphere, atmosphere and cryosphere). The activities are designed to create a challenge for students to think creatively about the parts and processes of the Earth system.

Type: Lesson Plan

Our Amazing Atmosphere:

In this lesson students will discover how the composition and structure of the atmosphere protects life and insulates the planet. Students will investigate the greenhouse effect in a series of inquiry-based labs and will attain knowledge through guiding questions. Students will learn about the composition and structure of the atmosphere by creating a flip book of the layers of the atmosphere using the jigsaw strategy. In the summative assessment, students will write an article describing how the layers of the atmosphere sustain life on our planet.

Type: Lesson Plan

Effects of wind, temperature and ocean currents:

The students are introduced to the topic of wind currents and their relationship to ocean currents. They are also introduced to the concept of how ocean currents affect temperature.

Type: Lesson Plan

Solar Oven Bakery:

The students will investigate how radiation from the sun allows us to bake cookie dough. The students will also determine if the volume of the box determines the time it will take for the cookie dough to bake. The students will also create a graph of the data collected while the cookie dough is baking in the solar oven.

Type: Lesson Plan

Global winds and the Coriolis Effect:

This lesson uses a variety of strategies to assist students with understanding the role the Sun plays in the formation of global winds and helps students understand how the Earth's rotation affects these global winds.

Type: Lesson Plan

Weather vs. Climate: Do You Know the Difference?:

This lesson is a student-driven, inquiry lesson that focuses on the differences between weather and climate. The lesson is designed to promote discussion about weather and climate and encourages students to use evidence from an article and a video to support their thought processes regarding the differences between weather and climate.

Type: Lesson Plan

Heat Transfer:

Students will investigate heat transfer by radiation, conduction, and convection.

Type: Lesson Plan

Earth's Sphere's Poster:

The students will learn the Earth's systems, and how they interact by completing an individual foldable and a group poster. The included PowerPoint contains: bell ringer, video on how to make a foldable, power point with definitions and sample pictures for each of Earth's spheres, an exit ticket, sample project and a rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Heat It Up:

Students will be presented a PowerPoint presentation embedded with videos on conduction, convection, and radiation. Students will take notes and complete an Exit Ticket. Students will create a pyramid foldable with illustrations and examples of conduction, convection, and radiation. Students will receive peer feedback from a modified gallery walk. This is a two day lesson plan.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Various Forms of Heat Transfer Lab:

In this 3-day activity students will perform a pre-lab and discussion first day. On day two students will cycle through 5 lab stations and draw, label, and explain what is occurring there using convection, conduction, and radiation. On day 3 students will create a poster on one of the lab stations and create a student work wall which will be used to review the lab.

Type: Lesson Plan

Family Fishing Trip MEA:

Students will analyze a set of data to determine the best location for a family fishing trip based on annual and monthly weather patterns. Students will consider average number of rainy days, wind speed, average number of sunny days, and relative humidity for each location.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Help Save Atreyu!:

In this activity students will analyze data about the relationship between water, temperature and relative humidity in an artificial habitat of a hermit crab. Their conclusions will lead them to understand how water and temperature affect the environment.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Global Climate Change and Sea Level Rise:

In this activity, students will practice the steps involved in a scientific investigation as they learn why ice formations on land (and not those on water) will cause a rise in sea level upon melting. This is a discovery lesson in ice and water density and displacement of water by ice floating on the surface as it relates to global climate change.

Type: Lesson Plan

Stacking Water Lab:

Using density to stack water of different salinities and temperature.

Type: Lesson Plan

Inland Flood Protection Using Levees-An Engineering Design Challenge:

This Engineering Design Challenge is intended to help students apply the concepts of protecting human life from hazardous weather from SC.6.E.7.8 as they build levees to prevent flooding. It is not intended as an initial introduction to this benchmark.

Type: Lesson Plan

Cooking Bonanza:

Students will be asked to create a Solar Cooker for a community event. Students will receive a poster informing them of the event and important information about material, and blueprint. After students create their models, they will receive a letter from the governor explaining the rules and regulations. Students will notice a volume and mass restriction. Students will then need to modify their design and test their effectiveness.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Gone with the Wind...NOT!:

Students are offered a proposal to rank recommended hurricane proof buildings based on current designs and stability in hurricane season regions. This activity provides students with an open-ended, realistic problem in which students work as a team to evaluate structural designs - resilient and safe, in severe weather conditions, hurricane winds, storm surge, water damage/destruction. Students will research hurricane history, anatomy, and behavior, with the impact on geography and human population. The designs of models demonstrate students’ knowledge of a stable hurricane proof structure used as a basis for coastal structures.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Feel the Heat!:

This MEA is a great way to implement Florida State Standards for math and language arts. It also supports cooperative learning groups and encourages student engagement. Students will explore different types of materials to determine which absorbs the least amount of heat. Students will also calculate the surface area to determine the cost for constructing the buildings using the materials.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

See the Unseen:

The electromagnetic spectrum is everywhere and provides energy to us every day. Although we may not see it with the natural eye, we can see it with technology. The electromagnetic spectrum affects our lives in everything we do. Students get to study the effect of the spectrum on their technology and their interests in space, medicine, music, videos, the human body, and handheld mobile computer technology that is so important in their world.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Climate Vs. Weather:

In this lesson, students will explore the differences between climate and weather.

Type: Lesson Plan

Jet Stream and Weather:

In this lesson, students will determine the definition of Jet Stream. Students will view four videos that show how changes in the jet stream impacted weather in US History. This lesson is not intended as an initial introduction to these standards, but an engaging way to explore the concepts.

Type: Lesson Plan

Ocean Currents and Weather:

In this lesson, students will view a variety of videos that show how ocean currents can affect weather. Students will also summarize a text about ocean currents, winds and ice.

Type: Lesson Plan

Planning the perfect wedding:

Students will decide what is the best month to celebrate an outdoor wedding. The couple is looking for the perfect wedding day. What is the definition of a perfect day? It has to be a Saturday or Sunday with a 20% or less probability of rain and sunny but not too hot. Based on the information provided , students will find the month in which the probability of having a rainy day and the probability of having a super hot day (temperature higher than 75º F) are minimal.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Tree-mendous Choice for Erosion Prevention:

This activity provides students with an open-ended, realistic problem for which students will research, discuss, and present the characteristics of 8 trees based on characteristics, type of wood, and suitability for growth in wet or dry climate with current weather patterns. Their objective is to promote the soil erosion prevention Students support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence, as they produce clear and coherent writing to describe the project of their structure ins development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Hydrosphere vs Lithosphere - Globe Toss Activity:

In this lesson, students will randomly sample a model Earth (inflatable globe) in order to determine the percentage of Earth's surface covered with water.

Type: Lesson Plan

Natural Disasters in Florida:

The students will translate the information they have gained into a poster/picture of Florida's natural disasters, label the storms, and list on the poster at least three safety practices to use with each storm.

Type: Lesson Plan

Storm Window Treatments:

Students will be asked to analyze a given set of data to determine the best storm window treatments for a local company to use when building a new homes. Students will be asked to write a letter to the company explaining how they ranked the storm window treatments.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Uncle Henry's Dilemma:

Uncle Henry's Dilemma is a problem solving lesson to determine the global location for the reading of Uncle Henry's will. The students will interpret data sets which include temperature, rainfall, air pollution, travel cost, flight times and health issues to rank five global locations for Uncle Henry's relatives to travel to for the reading of his will. This is an engaging, fun-filled MEA lesson with twists and turns throughout. Students will learn how this procedure of selecting locations can be applied to everyday decisions by the government, a business, a family, or individuals.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

CIS Lesson: Hazards of Hurricanes:

In this lesson tied to English/Language Arts Standards, students receive support as they read a complex informational text about the effects of hurricanes. The teacher facilitates a close reading and writing a response-to-text.

Type: Lesson Plan

Modeling Convection Currents:

The students will use selected materials to design/create a model of a convection current.

Type: Lesson Plan

Differences between Climate and Weather:

Students will collect weather data over several days or weeks, graph temperature data, and compare the temperature data collected with averaged climate data where they live, to better understand the differences between weather and climate.

Type: Lesson Plan

Block the Rays:

This is a 6th grade MEA. This MEA will ask students to work as a team to rank various fabrics to see which one is the best at blocking the sun.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Hot, Hot, Hot! Earth's Surface Heating:

Students will explore the concept of the uneven heating and cooling of Earth's surfaces by the Sun by collecting and analyzing data. Outside the classroom, students from several classes will record data points to be analyzed collectively to explore rates of heating and cooling related to time and material properties for air, water, and soil. Students will use mathematical techniques to help answer scientific questions.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Jet Stream and Weather:

This lesson uses pictures and animations to assist students in learning about the characteristics of the jet stream and how it effects local weather. Using this knowledge, small groups of students will create a weather report for an assigned city using a map that has a jet stream indicated on it. Each group will be assigned a different city, but the jet stream will be in the same location. A rubric is provided to guide the students. Student groups will present their "Weather Report" to the class.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorials

The Sun Fuels Our Weather:

The Sun is integral in keeping us warm, but did you know the other ways that the Sun is essential to Earth? Learn about how the Sun is important in fueling our weather on Earth. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

The Transfer of Heat:

Explore the ways in which heat is transferred and some common examples of each type in our lives in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Our Atmospheric Blanket:

Explore how our atmosphere both insulates our planet and protects life on Earth in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Natural Disasters:

Learn to identify several types of natural disasters that occur in Florida and how these disasters can affect people living there as you complete this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Weather vs. Climate:

Learn to distinguish between weather and climate in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Earth's Spheres:

Explore and compare the different spheres of the Earth system, including the geosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and cryosphere. In this interactive tutorial, you'll also identify specific examples of the interactions between the Earth's spheres.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Water in Our World:

Learn about the water cycle on Earth and how it affects weather and climate with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

What Causes Weather?:

Explore the components of weather, including temperature, humidity, precipitation, wind direction and wind speed. In this interactive tutorial, you'll relate the jet stream and ocean circulation to the causes of these conditions, which are caused by the energy from the sun.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Perspectives Video: Experts

Ensemble forecasting and the use of technology in weather predicting:

Jon Ahlquist discusses ensemble forecasting and how technology has allowed us to collect important data for the understanding of weather.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Severe Weather and Water:

Michael Kozar talks about the influence land and water have on severe weather.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Weather, Climate, and Forecasting:

Jon Ahlquist discusses the various factors in weather predictions and why they are so important to our lives.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Studying Biogeochemical Cycles in the Ocean:

Dean Grubbs discusses biogeochemical cycles in the oceans and their impact.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Hurricane Forecasting:

Mark Powell discusses the models used for hurricane predictions and the limitations that exist.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Hurricanes and Human Impacts:

Mark Powell discusses the impacts that a hurricane can have.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Past Climate Change:

Angela Dial discusses the geologic and scientific evidence related to climate change in the past.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Earth's Past Climate:

Angela Dial talks about using ocean core proxy data to investigate Earth's climate from the past.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Mathematically Modeling Hurricanes:

Entrepreneur and meteorologist Mark Powell discusses the need for statistics in his mathematical modeling program to help better understand hurricanes.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

How Math Models Help Insurance Companies After a Hurricane Hits:

Hurricanes can hit at any time! How do insurance companies use math and weather data to help to restore the community?

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Improving Hurricane Scales:

Meteorologist, Michael Kozar, discusses the limitations to existing hurricane scales and how he is helping to develop an improved scale.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Probabilistic Weather Modeling:

Meteorologist from Risk Management discusses the use of probability in predicting hurricane tracks.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Bioaccumulation of Methylmercury in the Everglades:

Dr. Melodie Naja describes the link between agricultural pollutants and the bioaccumulation of methylmercury in the fresh surface waters of the Everglades.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Ocean Currents and Global Weather Patterns:

Dr. Georges Weatherly describes how ocean circulation and temperature plays a role in local weather around the globe.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Severe Weather Formation:

In a fog about weather patterns? This climatologist will demystify the topic for you.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiasts

Watershed:

Kent Koptiuch talks about watersheds and water quality.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Aquifers:

Kent Koptiuch talks about aquifers and the importance of water quality.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Hurricane Dennis & Failed Math Models:

What happens when math models go wrong in forecasting hurricanes?

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Making Candy: Energy Transfer:

Candy production requires lots of heat. If you can't stand it, get out of the kitchen so you can watch this video on the couch instead.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: Kites, Wind, and Speed:

Lofty ideas about kites helped power a kayak from California to Hawaii.

Related Resources:
KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: GPS Data Set[.XLSX]
KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: Path Visualization for Google Earth[.KML]

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: Kites, Rowing, Wind, and Navigation:

What’s your vector, Victor? Understanding math and wind helps get you where you want to go.

Related Resources:
KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: GPS Data Set[.XLSX]
KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: Path Visualization for Google Earth[.KML]

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Perspectives Video: Teaching Ideas

Sling Psychrometers for Measuring Relative Humidity!:

Dave Rodriguez demonstrates the use of a sling psychrometer to compare wet and dry-bulb temperatures to determine relative humidity.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Mapping Ocean Currents:

Improve your students' circulation by having them literally walk through ocean currents!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Presentation/Slideshow

Water Science for Schools:

This interactive site allows you to learn all about the water cycle. The site provides hydrology data, examples, pictures, definitions, and more in multiple languages.

Type: Presentation/Slideshow

Problem-Solving Task

Severe Weather: Hurricanes:

In this computer-based real world unit, students will study and predict hurricanes.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Professional Development

A Sea Change:

This tutorial is designed to help secondary science teachers learn how to integrate literacy skills within their curriculum. This tutorial focuses on determining an author's purpose and point of view. The focus on literacy across content areas is designed to help students independently build knowledge in different disciplines through reading and writing.

Type: Professional Development

Project

Citizen Science: Precipitation:

This activity would be appropriate for an at home science project, after school science club, or extension/enrichment activity. It does require the appropriate placement of a rain gauge, which is not commonly found in the science classroom. Students then connect to an online data collection site to share their data.

Type: Project

Teaching Ideas

You Too Can Survive a Hurricane!:

Students will learn about the technology used to study hurricanes and the choices people make to survive a hurricane's affect.

Type: Teaching Idea

Atmospheric Processes - Radiation :

After a brief discussion of heat transfer processes in general, this activity will focus on radiation. Students will investigate how different surfaces absorb heat and apply their experience with the surfaces to interpret real-world situations.

Type: Teaching Idea

Atmospheric Processes - Convection:

Students explore how convection currents occurs in the atmosphere through the transfer of heat energy.

Type: Teaching Idea

Pack Your Sled for an Arctic Expedition-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, students will chart a course across the arctic given limited resources and various methods of travel.

Type: Teaching Idea

Text Resources

Climate Change Could Stall Atlantic Ocean Current:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes how climate change impacts ocean currents which, in turn, can affect the countries which lie along these currents. A description of a model is included to make a prediction of what will happen to the currents if climate change continues with increasing amounts of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

Type: Text Resource

What Causes Thunder and Lightning?:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes what causes lightning and examines the science behind cloud-to-ground lightning strikes. It also discusses what causes thunder and explains why we see the lightning before we hear the thunder. The last section of the text provides important rules about lightning safety and lists ways to stay safe during a lightning storm.

Type: Text Resource

The Jet Stream:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The purpose of the article is to define and describe the jet stream. It explains how the earth's rotation and axis affect the movement of wind bands around the Earth. Interactions from variables such as locations of high and low pressure systems, warm and cold air, and seasonal changes are also discussed.

Type: Text Resource

For Already Vulnerable Penguins, Study Finds Climate Change Is Another Danger:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Survival for Magellanic penguins has always been a challenge due to predation and starvation, but the influence of climate change is now making survival even more difficult for them. The study cited in this article is one of the first to show a direct impact of climate change on the population of seabirds. Increased storm activity and warmer temperatures are two factors impacting penguin populations in Argentina.

Type: Text Resource

Hurricane Andrew’s Legacy: "Like a Bomb" in Florida:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area.  This article gives an account of the events before, during, and after Hurricane Andrew’s assault on South Florida in August of 1992. The author describes why South Florida was unprepared for what became a category 5 hurricane, why certain areas suffered such extensive damage, and improvements that have been made in prediction and preparedness for future storms. 

Type: Text Resource

Hurricane Forecasters: El Niño Could Mean Fewer Storms in Atlantic:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Scientific models predict that El Niño will cause fewer hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean—but more in the Pacific Ocean—in 2014. This is because El Niño events affect water temperatures and wind shear, which affect hurricane formation. The article gives the chances of named storms forming in both the Pacific and Atlantic.

 

 

Type: Text Resource

Hurricanes:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This interactive, online text explains how a hurricane forms, what storm surge is, when hurricane season starts and ends, how hurricanes are named, and more. It has animations of storm surge and a link to a storm tracking map. The article also includes a glossary and fantastic tables and diagrams.

Type: Text Resource

Kangaroos Have "Green" Farts:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Researchers in Australia have found kangaroos to produce more acetate in their flatulence than methane. Cows and goats produce methane-heavy flatulence twenty times more potent than carbon dioxide, adding to the greenhouse gases contributing to global warming. Scientists are trying to use this research on kangaroo farts to discover a way to alter the amount of greenhouse gases in animal flatulence worldwide.

Type: Text Resource

11-year-old Designs a Better Sandbag, Named 'America's Top Young Scientist':

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This NBC News science article describes the success of a young inventor's polymer and salt filled sandbags, designed for more efficient flood protection and deployment.

Type: Text Resource

The Hydrologic Cycle:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text explains the continuous movement of water between the Earth's surfaces and the atmosphere.

Type: Text Resource

The Transfer of Heat Energy:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text explains the three ways heat passes into and through the atmosphere by relating examples from everyday life to atmospheric forms of heat transfer.

Type: Text Resource

Weather/ Whiz Kids/ Climate:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. The text covers many topics about weather and climate including the water cycle, seasons, greenhouse effect, and climate change.

Type: Text Resource

Changing Seas:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This text explains how carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is changing the oceans. The text describes ocean acidification and ocean warming. The text gives examples of ecosystems that are changing as a result.

Type: Text Resource

Ice on the Move:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes scientists' views on glacial movement and global warming.

Type: Text Resource

Bacteria Living in 'Cloud Cities' May Control Rain and Snow Patterns:

This resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes how ice crystals in clouds grow around tiny particles such as dust, pollen and even bacteria. Some bacteria contain proteins that cause freezing to occur at higher-than-normal temperatures, which may aid in snow production. In addition, a lack of vegetation on land may cause the "weather-gifted" bacteria to decline, which in turn would decrease rainfall (if in fact these bacteria are needed to "seed" clouds).

Type: Text Resource

Heat Transfer :

This is a great resource to review heat transfer through conduction, convection and radiation.

Type: Text Resource

Tutorials

Structures and Storms:

Click "View Site" to open a full-screen version. This tutorial is designed to help secondary science teachers learn how to integrate literacy skills within their curriculum. This tutorial focuses on identifying and evaluating the different text structures authors use to organize information in informative texts. The focus on literacy across content areas is designed to help students independently build knowledge in different disciplines through reading and writing.

Type: Tutorial

Greenhouse Effect:

This video will help the learners with their understanding of atmospheric composition and the greenhouse effect.

Type: Tutorial

Video/Audio/Animations

Will an Ice Cube Melt Faster in Freshwater or Saltwater?:

With an often unexpected outcome from a simple experiment, students can discover the factors that cause and influence thermohaline circulation in our oceans. In two 45-minute class periods, students complete activities where they observe the melting of ice cubes in saltwater and freshwater, using basic materials: clear plastic cups, ice cubes, water, salt, food coloring, and thermometers. There are no prerequisites for this lesson but it is helpful if students are familiar with the concepts of density and buoyancy as well as the salinity of seawater. It is also helpful if students understand that dissolving salt in water will lower the freezing point of water. There are additional follow up investigations that help students appreciate and understand the importance of the ocean's influence on Earth's climate.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Earth from Orbit in 2012:

This video contains a collection of the best images of the Earth taken from space in 2012

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Antarctica: A Challenging Work Day:

In this NOVA-adapted video clip, members of a research team deal with the inhospitable climate and other hazards while researching in Antarctica. Many scientists consider the opportunity to do their research in Antarctica a dream come true. The extreme environment and remoteness make it one of the most untouched regions on the planet. There is a treaty that allows more than 20 nations to maintain research facilities, and dedicates the entire continent to peaceful scientific investigation.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Virtual Manipulative

The Disaster Area: FEMA for Kids:

Through this website, students learn about different weather disasters and what to do before, during, and after an emergency.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this topic.

Original Student Tutorials

The Sun Fuels Our Weather:

The Sun is integral in keeping us warm, but did you know the other ways that the Sun is essential to Earth? Learn about how the Sun is important in fueling our weather on Earth. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

The Transfer of Heat:

Explore the ways in which heat is transferred and some common examples of each type in our lives in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Our Atmospheric Blanket:

Explore how our atmosphere both insulates our planet and protects life on Earth in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Natural Disasters:

Learn to identify several types of natural disasters that occur in Florida and how these disasters can affect people living there as you complete this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Weather vs. Climate:

Learn to distinguish between weather and climate in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Earth's Spheres:

Explore and compare the different spheres of the Earth system, including the geosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and cryosphere. In this interactive tutorial, you'll also identify specific examples of the interactions between the Earth's spheres.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Water in Our World:

Learn about the water cycle on Earth and how it affects weather and climate with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

What Causes Weather?:

Explore the components of weather, including temperature, humidity, precipitation, wind direction and wind speed. In this interactive tutorial, you'll relate the jet stream and ocean circulation to the causes of these conditions, which are caused by the energy from the sun.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Image/Photograph

Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, Lightning: A Preparedness Guide:

This PDF included at this site has information about family preparedness plans and safety rules, and information about thunderstorms, tornadoes, and lightning such as facts, when and where they occur, and how they form.

Type: Image/Photograph

Perspectives Video: Expert

Severe Weather Formation:

In a fog about weather patterns? This climatologist will demystify the topic for you.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Making Candy: Energy Transfer:

Candy production requires lots of heat. If you can't stand it, get out of the kitchen so you can watch this video on the couch instead.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Presentation/Slideshow

Water Science for Schools:

This interactive site allows you to learn all about the water cycle. The site provides hydrology data, examples, pictures, definitions, and more in multiple languages.

Type: Presentation/Slideshow

Text Resource

Heat Transfer :

This is a great resource to review heat transfer through conduction, convection and radiation.

Type: Text Resource

Tutorial

Greenhouse Effect:

This video will help the learners with their understanding of atmospheric composition and the greenhouse effect.

Type: Tutorial

Video/Audio/Animations

Will an Ice Cube Melt Faster in Freshwater or Saltwater?:

With an often unexpected outcome from a simple experiment, students can discover the factors that cause and influence thermohaline circulation in our oceans. In two 45-minute class periods, students complete activities where they observe the melting of ice cubes in saltwater and freshwater, using basic materials: clear plastic cups, ice cubes, water, salt, food coloring, and thermometers. There are no prerequisites for this lesson but it is helpful if students are familiar with the concepts of density and buoyancy as well as the salinity of seawater. It is also helpful if students understand that dissolving salt in water will lower the freezing point of water. There are additional follow up investigations that help students appreciate and understand the importance of the ocean's influence on Earth's climate.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Antarctica: A Challenging Work Day:

In this NOVA-adapted video clip, members of a research team deal with the inhospitable climate and other hazards while researching in Antarctica. Many scientists consider the opportunity to do their research in Antarctica a dream come true. The extreme environment and remoteness make it one of the most untouched regions on the planet. There is a treaty that allows more than 20 nations to maintain research facilities, and dedicates the entire continent to peaceful scientific investigation.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Virtual Manipulative

The Disaster Area: FEMA for Kids:

Through this website, students learn about different weather disasters and what to do before, during, and after an emergency.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this topic.

Image/Photograph

Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, Lightning: A Preparedness Guide:

This PDF included at this site has information about family preparedness plans and safety rules, and information about thunderstorms, tornadoes, and lightning such as facts, when and where they occur, and how they form.

Type: Image/Photograph

Perspectives Video: Expert

Severe Weather Formation:

In a fog about weather patterns? This climatologist will demystify the topic for you.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Making Candy: Energy Transfer:

Candy production requires lots of heat. If you can't stand it, get out of the kitchen so you can watch this video on the couch instead.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Presentation/Slideshow

Water Science for Schools:

This interactive site allows you to learn all about the water cycle. The site provides hydrology data, examples, pictures, definitions, and more in multiple languages.

Type: Presentation/Slideshow

Text Resource

Heat Transfer :

This is a great resource to review heat transfer through conduction, convection and radiation.

Type: Text Resource

Virtual Manipulative

The Disaster Area: FEMA for Kids:

Through this website, students learn about different weather disasters and what to do before, during, and after an emergency.

Type: Virtual Manipulative