Standard 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.912.E.7
Title: Earth Systems and Patterns
Type: Standard
Subject: Science
Grade: 912
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.912.E.7.In.1
Identify cycles that occur on Earth, such as the water and carbon cycles, and the role energy plays in them.
SC.912.E.7.In.2
Recognize that there are circular movements of ocean water (surface and deep-water currents) which move cold water from the poles toward the tropics and vice versa.
SC.912.E.7.In.3
Describe the interactions among the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere, including how air, water, and land support living things and how air temperature affects water and land temperatures.
SC.912.E.7.In.4
Describe variations in climate due to geological locations, such as on mountains and the nearness to large bodies of water.
SC.912.E.7.In.5
Identify weather conditions using weather data and weather maps.
SC.912.E.7.In.6
Compare weather conditions in different types of severe storms, including hurricanes, tornadoes, and thunderstorms.
SC.912.E.7.In.7
Recognize that global climate change is related to conditions in the atmosphere and oceans.
SC.912.E.7.In.8
Describe how atmospheric and hydrologic conditions, such as hurricanes, drought, wildfires, and sinkholes, affect human behavior.
SC.912.E.7.In.9
Recognize that the ocean absorbs most of the solar energy reaching Earth and loses heat primarily by evaporation.

Supported

SC.912.E.7.Su.1
Recognize the phases of the water cycle that occur on Earth and the role energy plays in the water cycle.
SC.912.E.7.Su.2
Recognize that currents move the ocean water around Earth.
SC.912.E.7.Su.3
Recognize components of the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, and the biosphere.
SC.912.E.7.Su.4
Identify the climate conditions in different parts of the world.
SC.912.E.7.Su.5
Identify weather conditions, including temperature, wind speed, and humidity.
SC.912.E.7.Su.6
Recognize conditions in severe storms, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and thunderstorms.
SC.912.E.7.Su.7
Recognize that global climate change occurs over a long period of time.
SC.912.E.7.Su.8
Identify how weather and water conditions affect humans in Florida.
SC.912.E.7.Su.9
Recognize that the ocean absorbs heat from the Sun and then warms the air.

Participatory

SC.912.E.7.Pa.1
Recognize that clouds release rain (part of the water cycle).
SC.912.E.7.Pa.2
Recognize waves in the ocean.
SC.912.E.7.Pa.3
Recognize that humans, plants, and animals live on the Earth (biosphere).
SC.912.E.7.Pa.4
Recognize that weather (climate) is different in different locations.
SC.912.E.7.Pa.5
Recognize the weather conditions, including severe weather, in Florida.
SC.912.E.7.Pa.6
Recognize that the Sun heats the water in the ocean.

Related Resources

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

Data Set

USGS Real-Time Water Data for the Nation:

This USGS site allows students to access a variety of stream flow information. There is an interactive map where the user can select stream flow data for selected stream gauging stations in the United States. Stations can be selected in list form, an interactive state map, or 10 nearest stations to position selected. Each retrieval form allows the user to refine their data search through predefined displays, such as tables, maps, or reports. Tables can be called up and further defined by basin, county, or hydro-logic unit.

Type: Data Set

Lesson Plans

Lesson 3: Productivity:

 This lesson covers:

•Why microalgae are important to all life on Earth

•How nutrients enter the ocean

•The relationship between microalgae, nutrients, and productivity

Type: Lesson Plan

County Hurricane Emergency Management Plan (CHEMP) Part 2:

This 5-part student-centered activity places students in the role of a local emergency management team that is tasked by the County Board of Commissioners to develop a County Hurricane Emergency Management Plan (CHEMP). In part 2, student teams will utilize the research they conducted in part 1 to develop part of a County Hurricane Emergency Management Plan (CHEMP). Teams will complete a plan worksheet and upload it along with any relevant attachments to an online collaborative platform for feedback. The teacher’s role will be to facilitate plan development and assist with the document upload process.

Type: Lesson Plan

County Hurricane Emergency Management Plan (CHEMP) Part 3:

This 5-part student-centered activity places students in the role of a local emergency management team that is tasked by the County Board of Commissioners to develop a County Hurricane Emergency Management Plan (CHEMP). In part 2, student teams utilized the research they conducted in part 1 to develop one portion of a County Hurricane Emergency Management Plan (CHEMP). Teams completed a plan worksheet and uploaded it along with any relevant attachments to an online collaborative platform for feedback. In part 3, student teams will review the draft submitted by a team working on a different portion of the CHEMP and provide feedback through the online collaborative platform. Teams will provide feedback to the other team using a checklist (attached). Once feedback has been given, teams will then utilize feedback to adjust their plan before developing a presentation to communicate their plan to the County Board of Commissioners.

Type: Lesson Plan

County Hurricane Emergency Management Plan (CHEMP) Part 4:

This 5-part student-centered activity places students in the role of a local emergency management team that is tasked by the County Board of Commissioners to develop a County Hurricane Emergency Management Plan (CHEMP). In part 4, students will work within their teams to create the three components of their presentations. Students will plan their oral presentation to the County Board of Commissioners as well as create a visual presentation and a written document. The teacher’s role will be to present the task, monitor student engagement, and provide feedback as the teams complete the three components of their portion of the plan.

Type: Lesson Plan

County Hurricane Emergency Management Plan (CHEMP) Part 5:

This 5-part student-centered activity places students in the role of a local emergency management team that is tasked by the County Board of Commissioners to develop a County Hurricane Emergency Management Plan (CHEMP). In parts 1-3, students conducted research and collaborated to create portions of the CHEMP. In part 4, teams prepared a presentation for the County Board of Commissioners. In part 5, each team will present their plan to the board. Each student will be scored using the rubric provided.

Type: Lesson Plan

County Hurricane Emergency Management Plan (CHEMP) Part 1:

This 5-part student-centered activity places students in the role of a local emergency management team that is tasked by the County Board of Commissioners to develop a County Hurricane Emergency Management Plan (CHEMP). In part 1, the class will divide into teams responsible for different aspects of the CHEMP. Students will conduct research on the state’s expectations for local emergency management plans, the likely impacts of hurricanes in the local area, and the resources available to address preparation, response, and recovery in the event of a major hurricane. The teacher’s role will be to present the task and facilitate student research as they investigate their portion of the plan.

Type: Lesson Plan

Florida Statute Analysis: Emergency Management - 252.35 Part 2:

Students will examine the influence of hurricanes and other severe weather/natural disasters on public policy.  They will explore the role of the state government in preparing for and responding to emergencies including severe weather and natural disasters in this integrated lesson plan.

Type: Lesson Plan

Florida Statute Analysis: Emergency Management - 252.35 Part 1:

Students will examine the influence of hurricanes and other severe weather/natural disasters on public policy.  They will explore the role of the state government in preparing for and responding to emergencies including severe weather and natural disasters in this integrated lesson plan.

Type: Lesson Plan

Florida Statute Analysis: Emergency Management - 252.35 Part 3:

Students will examine the influence of hurricanes and other severe weather/natural disasters on public policy.  They will explore the role of the state government in preparing for and responding to emergencies including severe weather and natural disasters in this integrated lesson plan.

Type: Lesson Plan

Phosphorus: Friend or Foe?:

In this lesson plan, students will recognize that phosphorus is important to living things, and cycles through soil, water, and organisms. Students will investigate the effects of excess phosphorus in water, along with methods used to reduce phosphorus levels in Florida bodies of water. Students will take part in a jigsaw activity that will require them to teach what they have learned to other students. The activity will end with a whole-class discussion analyzing public policy solutions related to cleaning up phosphorus in Florida waterways and restoring water flow in the everglades.

Type: Lesson Plan

Lesson 4: Interannual Variability- El Nino & La Nina:

 This lesson covers:

•The El Niño-Southern Oscillation cycle

•How El Niño/La Niña events affect Florida

•How El Niño/La Niña events affect productivity off the coast of Peru

Type: Lesson Plan

Lesson 1: Introduction to Oceanography & Remote Sensing:

This lesson covers:

•How the ocean moves and why it is important to all life on Earth

•Different geologic features in the ocean and how they impact currents

•How the Earth and ocean are studied by satellites and remote sensing

•How to use a web based program to interpret real world satellite data

Type: Lesson Plan

Lesson 2: Currents and Temperature:

This lesson covers:

  • How wind influences ocean currents
  • How currents transport heat and water around the world
  • Florida specific currents and oceanography
  • How currents connect the world’s climate

Type: Lesson Plan

Sea Ice Analysis:

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 mathematical models as a predictive tool and do critical analysis of sea ice loss.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sea Level Rise: The Ocean's Uplifting Experience:

The purpose of this lesson is to introduce students to the concept of sea level rise as it occurs through climate change by having them examine 3 specific parameters:  ice distribution, thermal expansion, and analyzing and interpreting data.  The lesson and activities within the lesson were designed using the three dimensions of the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards – specifically crosscutting concepts, science and engineering practices, and disciplinary core ideas. While there isn’t any required pre-requisite learning required for this lesson, a general understanding of sea-level rise, glaciers, and climate may be beneficial to students. During classroom breaks, pairs of students will develop/discuss their models, revise their interpretations of their models or data, and think-pair-share their thoughts on the investigation segments.

Type: Lesson Plan

CO2: Find Out What It Means to You:

This BLOSSOMS lesson discusses Carbon Dioxide, and its impact on climate change. The main learning objective is for students to become more familiar with human production of Carbon Dioxide gas, as well as to gain an awareness of the potential for this gas to effect the temperature of Earth’s atmosphere. This lesson should take about an hour to complete. In order to complete the lesson, the teacher will need: printed copies of signs representing the different products and processes that take place in the carbon cycle (included), samples of matter that represent those products, handouts for the students to create a graphic of the carbon cycle (included) and graph paper or graphing software for students to create graphs. In the breaks of this BLOSSOMS lesson, students will be creating models of the carbon cycle as well as observing experiments and analyzing data from them. It is hoped that this lesson will familiarize students with ways in which carbon moves through our environment and provide them with some personal connection to the impact that an increased concentration of CO2 can have on air temperature. The goal is to spark their interest and hopefully to encourage them to ask and investigate more questions about the climate. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Climate Change and Future Effects on Coral Reefs:

Students will learn about how the oceans absorb CO2 and because the oceans are absorbing CO2 at such an alarming rate, the oceans are acidifying. Students will learn about the effects of acidification on the oceans. Students will research on their own, using reliable websites given by teacher, the past, present, and possible future effects of acidification on coral reefs, and gather information about where this has taken place already and the effects. Students will create a poster of the past, present, and possible future amounts of CO2 absorbed in the ocean and discuss the effects on the health of coral reefs.

Type: Lesson Plan

Man vs. Volcano: Who Let the Carbon Out?:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article compares carbon emissions from human activities to those from natural volcanic processes. The authors outline the methods, data collection, and findings of carbon emissions, closing the debate on what releases the most carbon. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sea Ice Analysis Algebra:

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 sea ice loss. Students will use technology to quickly generate graphs for each month looking for trends, patterns, or deviations over time.

Type: Lesson Plan

Making Weather Forecasting More Reliable through MADIS:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that addresses a weather data assimilation system for forecasting weather. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes what weather data is used with this system, where it’s coming from, and who can use it. The lesson includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sea Ice Analysis:

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 sea ice loss. Students will use technology to quickly generate graphs for each month looking for trends, patterns or deviations over time.

Type: Lesson Plan

Challenge: Melting Ice and Its Effect on Life:

In this activity, students observe water movement patterns formed by melting ice cubes to make predictions about the movement of ocean water and the impacts on populations of aquatic organisms.

Type: Lesson Plan

Grants for El Niño:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that discusses the impacts of El Niño and the need for current research on the topic. The lesson plan includes text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Ideas for extending the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

USGS Science for an El Niño Winter:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text on the work the USGS (United States Geological Survey) is doing to monitor the effects of the 2015-2016 winter season as it is impacted by El Niño. 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

Hurricanes: Birth, Life, and Death:

In this lesson, students will analyze an in-depth NASA article on how hurricanes form, develop, and weaken. Additionally the article informs the reader about the history of hurricanes and naming conventions throughout the world as well as the latest technology to study hurricane anatomy, development geographic distribution, and frequency. 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

Banana River Fish Kill Report:

Students will be able to describe various interactions between the atmosphere, geosphere, and hydrosphere and their effects on the biosphere of the Banana River.

Type: Lesson Plan

Major Meltdown: Colorado High Peaks Losing Glaciers:

This lesson plan is designed to support reading in the content area. In this lesson, students will read a text that describes the results of a long-term study of the changes in the crysophere on Niwot Ridge, which lies at the top of the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains. The text describes the ways in which the cryosphere has changed due to climate change, and it also describes some of the impacts on the ecosystem and explains how the researchers gathered their data. The lesson plan includes text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, sample answers, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Prove It Moves!:

Students will design their own projects to prove that transpiration actually exists. Through this laboratory design and execution, students will understand that light catalyzes the water cycle and that it never ends.

Type: Lesson Plan

It's Getting Hot In... Lakes?:

This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. In this lesson, students will read a text that describes the effect of climate change on the water supply and on ecosystems around the world. The article introduces research from a study spanning six continents that analyzed data to determine the rate at which Earth's lakes are warming. The author then uses this data to connect to the impacts on Earth's ecosystems and on human lives. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Where's the Rain? Researching Drier Climates in the Southwest:

This lesson plan is designed to support reading in the content area. In this lesson, students will read a text that describes a study on the climate of the American Southwest. Using 35 years' worth of data, scientists believe a subtle shift in weather patterns is leading to drier conditions in the Southwest. The text goes on to explain the significance of this research and the challenge of connecting drier conditions in the region to climate change. The lesson plan includes text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, sample answers, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

It's the Circle of Life...and Water:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article analyzes the hydrologic cycle and touches on its connection to the carbon cycle. This text describes how our understanding about the water cycle has changed over time, particularly due to information gathered in a recent study. The article gives a good representation of the scientific method and the importance of the water cycle. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Researching Remote Regions: Role of the Southern Ocean:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text on the carbon dioxide/oxygen exchange in the Southern Ocean. The extent to which massive Southern Ocean currents, other biotic and abiotic factors, and ocean color impacts global warming is currently not known. Scientists will use a modified plane set up as a laboratory to gather this data. The lesson is designed to support reading in the content area and includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Innovative Methods: Using Drones to Study Glaciers:

In this lesson, students will read a text that describes new and creative technologies that are being used in climate research to study high-altitude glaciers and map how they are changing. The text describes the ways in which the use of drones with time-lapse thermal camera systems are being used to gather data over the Peruvian Andes more effectively than satellites or planes. The text also describes some of the researchers' early findings based on the data they have gathered through the use of these drones. The text used in this lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions and a writing prompt, sample answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Struggle of Mountains: Erosion vs. Plate Tectonics:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. In this lesson, students will read and analyze an informational text that describes the relationship between plate tectonics and erosion in the formation of Earth's surface. The article includes information describing how scientists are measuring the impact of both of these processes using sediment cores. The article presents findings from a recent study that shows, through data from sediment cores, that erosion is occurring faster than mountain building by plate tectonics. The lesson plan includes a text coding strategy, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Is Ozone Always a Positive Force in the Environment?:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that addresses the importance of ozone and its positive and negative impacts on life on Earth. The text describes the formation of the ozone layer as a natural occurrence. It also describes the formation of the ozone layer where it can negatively impact living organisms. 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

What Lies Beneath: Coastal Blue Carbon:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that addresses the issue of releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere from carbon sink sites located in coastal habitats. This informational text is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes how carbon that has been stored for potentially thousands of years is getting released into the atmosphere due to coastal habitat destruction of mangrove forests, salt marshes, and sea grass beds. The lesson plan includes text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

How El Niño and La Niña Affect the Weather:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. In this lesson, students will analyze a text that addresses the weather patterns of El Niño and La Niña and their effect on the varying ocean temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. The text describes the type of weather each produces over North America while explaining the differences between the two. This 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

Causes of Surface Currents:

Students will plot the major ocean gyres on a map, using colors to represent the relative temperature of the surface waters. Students will then plot several pairs of locations at the similar latitudes and discover that the coastal climate is in part affected by the circulation of ocean gyres.

Type: Lesson Plan

Climates of Coastal versus Inland Cities:

This lesson challenges students to compare the climates of two cities, one coastal and one inland, that are located at the same latitude. Students will create illustrated posters that will be analyzed by the class during a gallery walk.

Type: Lesson Plan

Climate and Ocean Currents:

Students will research climate and current conditions and try to establish correlations. They then will draw conclusions and make predictions as to the role of ocean currents in climate.

Type: Lesson Plan

Grape Suspension:

Students will design their own experiment to suspend a grape in water. Students will learn that temperature and salinity affect ocean water density.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Carbon Cycle and Human Impact:

This lesson is designed for educators to teach the carbon cycle. Students will create a poster board with information on the carbon cycle, give a class presentation, and answer questions posed by their classmates.

Type: Lesson Plan

Density-Salinity Lab:

In this lesson students will explore the concept of the differences in density of water found at different locations on Earth. The students will work in groups of four to determine the density of previously collected river, estuary, sea and distilled water using scales and other measuring tools. They will have a worksheet with guiding questions and a table to record their data. The students will be able to explain how differences in density that occur in the ocean affect ocean currents and why there are differences in the density of water found at different locations on Earth.

Type: Lesson Plan

Keep Calm and be Hurricane Prepared:

After exploring how hurricanes form and intensify, students will evaluate the relationship between hurricane category levels and individual and community preparedness by creating a foldable and using the foldable to present a Public Service Announcement.

Type: Lesson Plan

Albedo:

The solar energy that reaches Earth is either absorbed or reflected. Albedo is the percentage of solar energy that is reflected off a specific surface.

This lesson introduces the concept of albedo by comparing the albedo values of various surfaces.

Type: Lesson Plan

Evaluating the Greenhouse Effect:

In these experiments the student will be measuring the change in temperature of 2 samples of air, one that is ambient and one that has had added carbon dioxide. By doing this they will be able to see the correlation of added carbon dioxide and increased temperatures. In a second experiment, the student will evaluate the uptake of carbon dioxide by plant life, and derive conclusions for reducing the greenhouse effect.

Type: Lesson Plan

Albedo and Climate Change:

Students will explore the effect albedo has on the Earth's heat budget and global climate change by measuring the albedo of different outdoor surfaces.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Role of Oceans in Climate Change:

Students will use multiple hands-on activities, videos, and text resources to evaluate the ocean's influence on global climate change. Student engagement and investigation are the focus of this lesson with the intent of increasing rigor and creating global citizens. The summative assessment focuses on student application of their new knowledge to answer a scientific question; students present their findings in various mediums.

Type: Lesson Plan

ENSO: Friend or Foe?:

In this activity students will compare El Nino / La Nina Anomaly data and compare the data to hurricane frequency in the Atlantic Basin. The ENSO Anomaly Data has been provided. Students will then research hurricane frequency and compare both data sets. To close the activity, students will need to apply the knowledge learned in the lesson to synthesize and make a prediction in a writing prompt.

Type: Lesson Plan

Do We Stay or Do We Go? - Predicting the Path of A Tropical Cyclone:

In this activity, the students plot a real storm in the Atlantic basin using the same models as the National Hurricane Center. Students will compare their predictions of a storms future path to the predictions of the National Hurricane Center models. This exercise can last for as many as 20 days depending on the life of the tropical cyclone.

Type: Lesson Plan

Land Versus Water Specific Heat Activity:

This activity has been designed as an inquiry lab to introduce weather and weather patterns. The students will explore the concept of weather through one of the factors that causes the weather that surrounds us, wind production.

Type: Lesson Plan

Water Cycle Molecular Movement and Energy Flow:

This lesson provides students with an interactive activity that demonstrates the movement of water through the water cycle as it fluctuates in energy. Students will be able to analyze patterns in the fluctuations of energy in order to conclude correlations between energy in particles of water and the various stages of the water cycle.

Type: Lesson Plan

Ocean Heat and a Warming World:

Students will reinforce previously taught concepts, such as water taking longer to heat up (and longer to cool down) than land, but extend their understanding using the NOAA link "Ten Signs of a Warming World." They will focus on the tab "Ocean Heat Content," and explore the ways in which scientists are measuring ocean temperatures. They will examine the data concerning ocean heat content and obsere the large effects that oceans are having in a warming world.

Type: Lesson Plan

Changing World Oceans - An Ocean Acidification Simulation:

This 5-day lesson introduces students to the phenomenon of ocean acidification, including processes involved and the importance it has on Earth ecosystems. It focuses on the atmosphere / hydrosphere interaction with respect to carbon dioxide. The lesson progresses from the introductory first day where student preconceptions and misconceptions are identified and addressed in an introductory lesson. The lab on the second day can be accomplished using non-specialized, inexpensive equipment or more sophisticated probeware. Day 3 is for data analysis and reflecting on the lab results and building process diagrams, and days 4 and 5 are time for writing the lab report.

Type: Lesson Plan

Energy in the Rain:

Students work to understand the movement of matter and energy in the Earth's water cycle. First, they confront a common occurrence in our lives: the "sweaty" water bottle. Then, after a combination of collaboration and direct instruction, students create a working model of the water cycle and analyze the movement of energy within it.

Type: Lesson Plan

Ocean Motion- A lesson on what causes ocean currents and their effects on life on Earth:

The purpose of this lesson is to allow students to understand what drives ocean currents. Part of this process will include the developing of a testable hypothesis, designing a model, and formulating a conclusion based on observations. Students will further make a connection with how currents have influenced and can influence human behavior, both individually and collectively.

Type: Lesson Plan

Hot to Trot Inner Planets:

Students will model and analyze planetary and solar relationships that contribute to global climate change by recording data gathered through class activities and independent research.

Type: Lesson Plan

Effects of Earth's Surface Features on Climate:

In this lesson, students will investigate the ability of water to retain it's temperature, and explain how the proximity of an area to an ocean or lake will contribute to the climate of an area. Students will measure the temperature of three beakers; one empty, one with water, and one with sand to determine how quickly their temperatures will change over specific time period.

Type: Lesson Plan

Using a Sling Psychrometer to help predict the Weather:

This lesson will give students the ability to understand how fog can affect their lives living in the State of Florida. Students will learn how to properly use a sling psychrometer, how to interpret the measurement results, and how to use this data to predict the occurrence of fog as it relates to transportation. The analysis part of the lesson revolves around the ability to predict the likelihood of fog if the Dew Point is within 5 Degrees F. of the ambient temperature, also in Degrees F.

Type: Lesson Plan

Forecasting the Weather:

In this lesson students will predict and interpret a weather forecast of a selected area. The students will choose an area and make a two day prediction of the weather for that selected area based upon current weather conditions and models.

Type: Lesson Plan

Hurricanes: Human Impact:

Students will learn how hurricane preparedness has driven changes in the building industry through the development of research and education for hurricane safety products. Hurricane damage has led to new fields of manufacturing, providing commercial jobs and financial growth.

Type: Lesson Plan

A Bunch of Hot Air....Balloon Rides That Is!:

This is a 9th grade MEA about weather prediction and limitations thereof. This MEA will ask students to work as a team to design a plan to select the source for weather forecasts for a private hot-air balloon tour company. Students will evaluate information from various weather predictions sources to determine which one is best for a hot-air balloon ride company.

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

A Plant's Role:

In this lesson, students will investigate the question, "Do plants absorb carbon dioxide at the same rate?" The students will design their own method for gathering the information needed to answer this question. Students will leave with a thorough understanding of the carbon cycle.

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

Sunspot Case Study:

The Sunspot Activity Case Study is set up as a series of short activities centered around readings or graphs. Students learn about solar cycles that cause a change in the amount of solar radiation received by the Earth. Students are asked to analyze how these solar cycles might be contributing to global warming and climate change.

Type: Lesson Plan

Down By the Sea:

In this lesson, students will create 3 graphs showing the average monthly temperatures of 6 cities. Cities at similar latitudes are paired together on a graph. One city represents inland conditions and the other represents ocean-side conditions at that latitude. There are 2 versions of the activity. Version A for independent learners asks them to formulate a conclusions about how proximity to an ocean affects a community's climate. Version B for developing learners, follows each graph is the same set of 3 questions which are designed to focus student attention on the temperature differences experienced between inland and ocean-side communities. In the final portion of the activity, students are asked to come up with general temperature patterns for inland vs. ocean-side communities.

Type: Lesson Plan

Formation of Hurricanes:

This is a picture inquiry based lesson for students to explore the formation of hurricanes. Groups of three students will observe and explain trends found in a picture and share ideas with their peers.

Type: Lesson Plan

How Do Meteorologists Forecast the Weather?:

This is a lesson that I developed where students learn how meteorologists predict the weather. Students will use surface weather maps, radar, satellite, and weather models from the National Weather Service to assess the current state of the weather and make a prediction.

Type: Lesson Plan

Lightning:

PBS/NOVA presentation on lightning with student activities and related audio/visual resources.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorials

Yikes! Strikes! Severe Weather:

Learn to identify different types of severe weather and the conditions that contribute to the formation of severe weather in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Our Interacting Earth:

Explore the connections and interactions between spheres, including the lithosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and cryosphere, on our ever-changing Earth in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Expository Writing: Eyes in the Sky (Part 4 of 4):

Practice writing different aspects of an expository essay about scientists using drones to research glaciers in Peru. This interactive tutorial is part four of a four-part series. In this final tutorial, you will learn about the elements of a body paragraph. You will also create a body paragraph with supporting evidence. Finally, you will learn about the elements of a conclusion and practice creating a “gift.” 

This tutorial is part four of a four-part series. Click below to open the other tutorials in this series.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Expository Writing: Eyes in the Sky (Part 3 of 4):

Learn how to write an introduction for an expository essay in this interactive tutorial. This tutorial is the third part of a four-part series. In previous tutorials in this series, students analyzed an informational text and video about scientists using drones to explore glaciers in Peru. Students also determined the central idea and important details of the text and wrote an effective summary. In part three, you'll learn how to write an introduction for an expository essay about the scientists' research. 

This tutorial is part three of a four-part series. Click below to open the other tutorials in this series.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Drones and Glaciers: Eyes in the Sky (Part 2 of 4):

Learn how to identify the central idea and important details of a text, as well as how to write an effective summary in this interactive tutorial. This tutorial is the second tutorial in a four-part series that examines how scientists are using drones to explore glaciers in Peru. 

This tutorial is part two of a four-part series. Click below to open the other tutorials in this series.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Drones and Glaciers: Eyes in the Sky (Part 1 of 4):

Learn about how researchers are using drones, also called unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs, to study glaciers in Peru. In this interactive tutorial, you will practice citing text evidence when answering questions about a text.

This tutorial is part one of a four-part series. Click below to open the other tutorials in this series.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Energy and Matter Movement through Biogeochemical Cycles:

Learn how to trace matter and energy through living and non-living systems and understand that matter and energy are transferred on a global scale.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Climate Conditions and Features:

Learn to differentiate and describe how geologic features affect the climate patterns of a region in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Perspectives Video: Experts

Oceanography & Math:

A discussion describing ocean currents studied by a physical oceanographer and how math is involved. 

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

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

Hurricane Dennis and Meteorology Majors:

A discussion focusing on the predictions that underestimated the storm surge from Hurricane Dennis on the Florida panhandle.

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

Deep Sea Ecosystems:

Sandra Brooke, from FSU Marine Lab, talks about undersea canyon ecosystems.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Factors of Weather:

Michael Kozar speaks about severe weather and hurricane impacts.

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

Satellite Technology for Investigating Ice Sheet Mass and Sea Level Changes:

In this video, Don Chambers explains how satellite technology is essential for assessment of sea level changes. Video funded by NSF grant #: OCE-1502753.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Remote Measurement of Ice Sheet Mass via Satellite:

Watch as Don Chambers explains the role of satellites in measuring the mass of ice sheets and the connections between ice sheet mass changes and sea level. Video funded by NSF grant #: OCE-1502753.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Assessment of Sea Level by Sediment Core Sampling and Analysis:

Watch as Brad Rosenheim, a geological oceanographer, explains how modern technology and sampling methods are used for sea level research. Video funded by NSF grant #: OCE-1502753.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Assessment of Past and Present Rates of Sea Level Change:

In this video, Brad Rosenheim describes how Louisiana sediment cores are used to estimate sea level changes over the last 10,000 years. Video funded by NSF grant #: OCE-1502753.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Assessment of Antarctic Ice Sheet Movement Rate by Sediment Core Sampling:

Eugene Domack, a geological oceanographer, describes how sediment cores are collected and used to estimate rates of ice sheet movement in Antarctica. Video funded by NSF grant #: OCE-1502753.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Analyzing Antarctic Ice Sheet Movement to Understand Sea Level Changes:

In this video, Eugene Domack explains how past Antarctic ice sheet movement rates allow us to understand sea level changes. Video funded by NSF grant #: OCE-1502753.

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

Global Weather Modeling for Military Applications:

Major Paul Homan describes the needs and capabilities of the United States Air Force with regard to global weather prediction and modeling. 

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Hurricanes & Strong Deep Ocean Currents:

COAPS oceanographer Steve Morey describes how math is used to help research hurricanes and strong deep ocean currents that could effect deep water oil rigs.

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

El Niño and La Niña:

Learn how the ocean pressures the climate into changing.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Monsoons & Moist Atmospheric Rivers:

Listen to a discussion about how moist atmospheric rivers are influencing increased monsoonal events.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Implications of the Spherical Earth:

To understand atmospheric and oceanic currents, one needs a well-rounded understanding of geometry and the shape of the Earth.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Mathematical Modeling of El Niño :

Hear how mathematics helped shape Dr. James O'Brien's groundbreaking research in ocean modeling of El Niño.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

How Himalayan Monsoons Melt Arctic Ice:

In the Earth's systems, everything is connected! This meteorologist explains the relationship between monsoonal heat columns and polar ice-melt.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Improving Hurricane Modeling by Reducing Systematic Errors:

This FSU professor discusses the limitations and need for improvement to models used to forecast hurricanes.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

How do Landforms and Water Impact Climate?:

A climatologist rains down information about how physical factors form regional climates.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Dissolved Oxygen in Aquatic Ecosystems:

Dissolved oxygen is important to all life in and out of the water! Learn more in this video!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiasts

Light Reflection, Refraction and Absorption:

Description needed. Light Reflection, Refraction, & Absorption

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

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

Solving Systems of Equations, Oceans & Climate:

Angela Dial discusses how she solves systems of equations to determine how the composition of ocean floor sediment has changed over 65 million years to help reveal more information regarding climate change.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Waste Reduction from Glass Art Fabrication:

Glass artist Russel Scaturro explains how fine control of gas flow aids efforts to minimize his carbon footprint toward a larger goal of environmentally-conscious fabrication methodology. 

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

Mathematically Modeling Eddy Shedding :

COAPS oceanographer Dmitry Dukhovskoy describes the process used to mathematically model eddy shedding in the Gulf of Mexico.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

What's Up? Weather Balloons and Forecasting:

Listen up as a meteorologist explains how weather balloons work and how they collect data for models they can use to make forecasts.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: Waves:

When your classroom is the open ocean, which is the longest period? The one from the tsunami.

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

Isotopes and Paleoclimates:

Let this researcher explain how studying fossils and isotopes can help us understand ancient climate conditions!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Severe Weather Demo:

A climatologist raises the bar with this classroom-ready 3D fluid dynamics weather demonstration.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Teaching Idea

How Does Melting Ice Affect Sea Level?:

In this activity, students investigate the effects of melting ice sheets and ice caps on sea level by constructing a pair of models and seeing the effects of ice melt in two different situations.

Type: Teaching Idea

Text Resources

Which Emits More Carbon Dioxide: Volcanoes or Human Activities?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article answers the question of whether volcanic activity or human activities contribute more to global warming. With evidence and support, they easily conclude human activities are the heaviest contributor

Type: Text Resource

NOAA's Growing Weather Observations Database Goes into Full Operations:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. This text describes NOAA’s new (established in 2015) weather collecting database system that is able to assimilate weather data from 64,000 different sources. This new system is usable by federal, state and local agencies, universities, and private companies to forecast and prepare for different kinds of weather.

Type: Text Resource

Text Resource: USGS Science for an El Niño Winter:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. El Niño is known to cause weather disturbances, however, its impact on winter storms causes a slew of additional complications when coupled with rising ocean levels instigated by global warming. The USGS reviews the effects, efforts to study the phenomena, and hints at ways to plan strategically for them in this timely article.

Type: Text Resource

NSF Awards Rapid Response Grants to Study Current El Niño, One of the Strongest on Record:

This informational text resource is is designed to support reading in the content area. The text briefly defines and describes El Niño, including outlining its impacts on fragile ecosystems and weather patterns. The author also reviews the type of grants NSF is awarding scientists to study El Niño and justifies the need for such funding.

Type: Text Resource

Hurricanes: The Greatest Storms on Earth:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article is provides background information on the different names for tropical cyclones, how hurricanes develop and weaken, and where in the world they are found. It also describes the technology used to study hurricanes and how hurricanes are categorized in terms of intensity.

Type: Text Resource

Colorado High Peaks Losing Glaciers as Climate Warms:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes the results of a study that show declines in ice—glaciers, permafrost, subsurface ice, and lake ice—at the Niwot Ridge in the Rocky Mountains over the past thirty years. The text describes that the researchers attribute the declines in ice to climate change. Using the results of their study, the scientists also make a startling prediction that the Arikaree Glacier in the Rocky Mountains will disappear in twenty years.

Type: Text Resource

Lakes Around the World Rapidly Warming:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. This article describes the effect of climate change on the water supply and on ecosystems around the world. The article introduces research from a study spanning six continents that analyzed data to determine the rate at which Earth's lakes are warming. The author then uses this data to connect to the impacts on Earth's ecosystems and on human lives.

Type: Text Resource

Chemistry in the Sunlight:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article explains that sunlight is an important aspect of ozone formation. The ozone layer forms in the stratosphere, which is located above the layer of the atmosphere that we breathe (the troposphere). There is ozone formation also occurring in the troposphere, which is very toxic to living organisms, naturally but mostly due to by-products from the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities. The text describes the different chemical processes of ozone formation in these two layers of the atmosphere.

Type: Text Resource

Southwest Sliding into a New Normal: Drier Conditions:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes a study on the climate of the southwestern United States. Using 35 years' worth of data, scientists believe a subtle shift in weather patterns is leading to drier conditions in the Southwest. The text goes on to explain the significance of this research and the challenge of connecting drier conditions in the region to climate change.

Type: Text Resource

Where Does Water Go When It Doesn't Flow?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes how scientific thoughts about the water cycle have changed over time, particularly due to information gathered in a recent study. The article gives a good representation of the scientific method and the importance of the water cycle.

Type: Text Resource

Climate Can Grind Down Mountains Faster Than They Can Rebuild:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article describes the relationship between plate tectonics and erosion in the formation of Earth's surfaces and discusses how scientists are measuring the impact of both of these processes. The article presents findings from a recent study that shows, through data from sediment cores, that erosion is occurring faster than mountain building by plate tectonics.

Type: Text Resource

What are El Niño and La Niña?:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article explains what El Niño and La Niña are in terms of meteorology. It also explains the weather effects of both and a brief history of their names.

Type: Text Resource

Coastal Blue Carbon:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes different ecosystems that store carbon, like forests, and goes into how carbon is stored more efficiently in coastal ecosystems. The text goes on to advocate for conserving and protecting our coastal ecosystems to keep the carbon stored and prevent the carbon from being released into the atmosphere to further impact the planet through climate change. The text also explores other benefits for conserving coastal ecosystems.

Type: Text Resource

Three Miles High: Using Drones to Study High-Altitude Glaciers:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. This text describes new and creative technologies that are being used in climate research to study high-altitude glaciers and map how they are changing. The text describes the ways in which the use of drones with time-lapse thermal camera systems are being used to gather data over the Peruvian Andes more effectively than satellites or planes. The text also describes some of the researchers' early findings based on the data they have gathered through the use of these drones.

Type: Text Resource

Flying Lab to Investigate Southern Ocean's Appetite for Carbon:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes how scientists led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) are set to launch a series of flights over the Southern Ocean in order to collect data on how the air and seas surrounding Antarctica exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide. It is hoped that this data will help us with future predictions about climate change, and maybe even lead to new insights on how the ocean works.

Type: Text Resource

Climate's Troublesome Kids:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Did you know that climate has two not-so-nice children? Meet El Niño and La Niña, the "boy" and "girl" spawned by the global climate every 3-7 years. They can give the world a climate that's quite troublesome, depending on which one is causing the disturbance.

Type: Text Resource

Does the Rotation of the Earth Affect Toilets and Baseball Games?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article examines the Coriolis effect-how the Earth's rotation affects moving objects-and its relationship to baseball, weather...and toilets. The author is concerned with dispelling some myths about the influence of the Coriolis effect on everyday things.

Type: Text Resource

Warming Arctic May Be Causing Jet Stream to Lose Its Way:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text explains that changing weather patterns can be linked to a weakening of the jet stream. It is known that the jet stream is responsible for changeable weather patterns, and the weakening of the stream is causing weather conditions to stay in locations for longer periods of time. The article concludes that the fuel source of the jet stream (the differences in temperature between the tropics and the arctic) is becoming less dramatic, which in turn is weakening the winds.

Type: Text Resource

Debate Tests Accuracy of Tree Ring Data :

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article explains the controversy surrounding the research of scientists Mann, Fuentes, and Rutherford, whose work suggests that tree rings may not be as accurate a record of past climate changes as once thought. The author explains how the reliance on one type or source of data is a limitation in science and discusses the other information available to reconstruct climates of the past.

Type: Text Resource

NASA Widens 2014 Hurricane Research Mission:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article focuses on the technology used by NASA for its most recent research being conducted on hurricanes. It describes the technology used as well as the data that is collected. It is an excellent article for explaining how scientists "know what they know" about weather.

Type: Text Resource

The Science Behind Superstorm Sandy's Crippling Storm Surge:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. This text describes the devastation that Superstorm Sandy caused and why there was so much destruction in the areas affected, especially New Jersey and New York. The author delves into areas such as floods, hurricane prediction, and methods that may prevent such destruction from happening again.

Type: Text Resource

Tornadoes Strike Again. How Do They Work?:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Tornado events seem to be increasing over the years. Computer simulations and high-resolution satellite imagery are a few of the emerging technologies that have helped us to predict and respond more rapidly to this deadly force of nature. The article gives a solid discussion of the role of latent heat and moving air in tornado formation. It also reviews energy transformations and gives an overview of several ways that people can more safely live in Tornado Alley.

Type: Text Resource

The Calamitous Climate Responsible for Florida's Record Rainfall:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article introduces extreme rainfall as an effect of climate change that is both measurable and personal - as it occurred in our own back yard. The article discusses the storm in Pensacola before heading into information about climate change.

Type: Text Resource

Salamander's Hefty Role in the Ecosystem:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This is a fascinating article about the large role one tiny organism plays in its ecosystem. The author explores the predatory habits of the salamander, how this amphibian can affect the carbon cycle, and the changes that have been taking place in the salamander populations over time.

Type: Text Resource

New GPM Video Dissects the Anatomy of a Raindrop :

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article by NASA explains the physical reasons why the shape of a raindrop is more bun-shaped than tear-shaped.

Type: Text Resource

Snowflake Science: How it Snows for Days in the Arctic:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The purpose of this text is to explain how a conceptual model for snowfall in the Arctic is useful in explaining how snow falls for days on end in relatively clean atmospheric conditions.

Type: Text Resource

The Lingering Clouds:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Pollution can cause thunderstorms to leave behind larger, deeper, and longer lasting clouds. This may have important effects on climate change.

Type: Text Resource

Tutorials

Winds of Change: Fostering Literacy with Science Texts:

Click "View Site" to open a full-screen version. This tutorial is designed to help secondary science teachers learn how to integrate literacy skills into their science curriculum. This tutorial will demonstrate a number of strategies teachers can impart to students to help students learn how to translate visual information into words. The focus on literacy across content areas is intended to help foster students' reading, writing, and thinking skills in multiple disciplines.

Type: Tutorial

Rock 'n Roll Weather:

This resource is a basic introduction to the types of severe weather. Students will learn about the formation of tornadoes, lightning, floods, and hurricanes. Images of each weather system also accompany each section.

Type: Tutorial

The Carbon Cycle:

What exactly is the carbon cycle? Nathaniel Manning provides a basic look into the cyclical relationship of carbon, humans and the environment.

Type: Tutorial

Interactive Carbon Lab:

This lab simulation will allow you to explore how carbon circulates through the environment. Through data collection and analysis, you will experiment with the impact that humans are having on the cycling of carbon and make data based predictions on how these impacts may change environmental outcomes to the year 2100.

Type: Tutorial

Unit/Lesson Sequence

Biogeochemical cycles:

This unit/ lesson sequence describes the biogeochemical cycles of carbon and nitrogen. It includes descriptions of class room inquiry-based activities including worksheets and assessment items.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

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

Towers in the Tempest:

'Towers in the Tempest' is a 4.5 minute narrated animation that explains recent scientific insights into how hurricanes intensify. This intensification can be caused by a phenomenon called a 'hot tower'. For the first time, research meteorologists have run complex simulations using a very fine temporal resolution of 3 minutes. Combining this simulation data with satellite observations enables detailed study of 'hot towers'. The science of 'hot towers' is described using: observed hurricane data from a satellite, descriptive illustrations, and volumetric visualizations of simulation data.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

27 Storms: Arlene to Zeta:

This video from NASA presents the 2005 hurricane season with actual data that NASA and NOAA satellites measured. Sea surface temperatures, clouds, storm tracks, and hurricane category labels are shown as the hurricane season progresses.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

How do Hurricanes Form - NASA Spaceplace:

This site describes how hurricanes (tropical cyclones) form. The site includes text, diagrams, and satellite images in a movie.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Observing the Ocean:

Short movie by COSEE Coastal trends about how scientists use technology to continuously monitor the ocean. Includes information on collection of data related to global climate change.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Virtual Manipulatives

The Greenhouse Effect:

The students will watch as gases become trapped by the Earth's surface. They can examine different variables and the relationship between concentration of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, and temperature.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Web Mapping Portal:

A web mapping portal with real-time observations. This National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration site allows teachers and students to use tools to generate maps, establish relationships between maps and databases, and learn the utility of Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Student Resources

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

Original Student Tutorials

Yikes! Strikes! Severe Weather:

Learn to identify different types of severe weather and the conditions that contribute to the formation of severe weather in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Our Interacting Earth:

Explore the connections and interactions between spheres, including the lithosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and cryosphere, on our ever-changing Earth in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Expository Writing: Eyes in the Sky (Part 4 of 4):

Practice writing different aspects of an expository essay about scientists using drones to research glaciers in Peru. This interactive tutorial is part four of a four-part series. In this final tutorial, you will learn about the elements of a body paragraph. You will also create a body paragraph with supporting evidence. Finally, you will learn about the elements of a conclusion and practice creating a “gift.” 

This tutorial is part four of a four-part series. Click below to open the other tutorials in this series.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Expository Writing: Eyes in the Sky (Part 3 of 4):

Learn how to write an introduction for an expository essay in this interactive tutorial. This tutorial is the third part of a four-part series. In previous tutorials in this series, students analyzed an informational text and video about scientists using drones to explore glaciers in Peru. Students also determined the central idea and important details of the text and wrote an effective summary. In part three, you'll learn how to write an introduction for an expository essay about the scientists' research. 

This tutorial is part three of a four-part series. Click below to open the other tutorials in this series.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Drones and Glaciers: Eyes in the Sky (Part 2 of 4):

Learn how to identify the central idea and important details of a text, as well as how to write an effective summary in this interactive tutorial. This tutorial is the second tutorial in a four-part series that examines how scientists are using drones to explore glaciers in Peru. 

This tutorial is part two of a four-part series. Click below to open the other tutorials in this series.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Drones and Glaciers: Eyes in the Sky (Part 1 of 4):

Learn about how researchers are using drones, also called unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs, to study glaciers in Peru. In this interactive tutorial, you will practice citing text evidence when answering questions about a text.

This tutorial is part one of a four-part series. Click below to open the other tutorials in this series.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Energy and Matter Movement through Biogeochemical Cycles:

Learn how to trace matter and energy through living and non-living systems and understand that matter and energy are transferred on a global scale.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Climate Conditions and Features:

Learn to differentiate and describe how geologic features affect the climate patterns of a region in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Lesson Plans

Sea Level Rise: The Ocean's Uplifting Experience:

The purpose of this lesson is to introduce students to the concept of sea level rise as it occurs through climate change by having them examine 3 specific parameters:  ice distribution, thermal expansion, and analyzing and interpreting data.  The lesson and activities within the lesson were designed using the three dimensions of the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards – specifically crosscutting concepts, science and engineering practices, and disciplinary core ideas. While there isn’t any required pre-requisite learning required for this lesson, a general understanding of sea-level rise, glaciers, and climate may be beneficial to students. During classroom breaks, pairs of students will develop/discuss their models, revise their interpretations of their models or data, and think-pair-share their thoughts on the investigation segments.

Type: Lesson Plan

CO2: Find Out What It Means to You:

This BLOSSOMS lesson discusses Carbon Dioxide, and its impact on climate change. The main learning objective is for students to become more familiar with human production of Carbon Dioxide gas, as well as to gain an awareness of the potential for this gas to effect the temperature of Earth’s atmosphere. This lesson should take about an hour to complete. In order to complete the lesson, the teacher will need: printed copies of signs representing the different products and processes that take place in the carbon cycle (included), samples of matter that represent those products, handouts for the students to create a graphic of the carbon cycle (included) and graph paper or graphing software for students to create graphs. In the breaks of this BLOSSOMS lesson, students will be creating models of the carbon cycle as well as observing experiments and analyzing data from them. It is hoped that this lesson will familiarize students with ways in which carbon moves through our environment and provide them with some personal connection to the impact that an increased concentration of CO2 can have on air temperature. The goal is to spark their interest and hopefully to encourage them to ask and investigate more questions about the climate. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Perspectives Video: Experts

Severe Weather Formation:

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

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

El Niño and La Niña:

Learn how the ocean pressures the climate into changing.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

How do Landforms and Water Impact Climate?:

A climatologist rains down information about how physical factors form regional climates.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Dissolved Oxygen in Aquatic Ecosystems:

Dissolved oxygen is important to all life in and out of the water! Learn more in this video!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Tutorials

Rock 'n Roll Weather:

This resource is a basic introduction to the types of severe weather. Students will learn about the formation of tornadoes, lightning, floods, and hurricanes. Images of each weather system also accompany each section.

Type: Tutorial

The Carbon Cycle:

What exactly is the carbon cycle? Nathaniel Manning provides a basic look into the cyclical relationship of carbon, humans and the environment.

Type: Tutorial

Interactive Carbon Lab:

This lab simulation will allow you to explore how carbon circulates through the environment. Through data collection and analysis, you will experiment with the impact that humans are having on the cycling of carbon and make data based predictions on how these impacts may change environmental outcomes to the year 2100.

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

Towers in the Tempest:

'Towers in the Tempest' is a 4.5 minute narrated animation that explains recent scientific insights into how hurricanes intensify. This intensification can be caused by a phenomenon called a 'hot tower'. For the first time, research meteorologists have run complex simulations using a very fine temporal resolution of 3 minutes. Combining this simulation data with satellite observations enables detailed study of 'hot towers'. The science of 'hot towers' is described using: observed hurricane data from a satellite, descriptive illustrations, and volumetric visualizations of simulation data.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

27 Storms: Arlene to Zeta:

This video from NASA presents the 2005 hurricane season with actual data that NASA and NOAA satellites measured. Sea surface temperatures, clouds, storm tracks, and hurricane category labels are shown as the hurricane season progresses.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

How do Hurricanes Form - NASA Spaceplace:

This site describes how hurricanes (tropical cyclones) form. The site includes text, diagrams, and satellite images in a movie.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Virtual Manipulatives

The Greenhouse Effect:

The students will watch as gases become trapped by the Earth's surface. They can examine different variables and the relationship between concentration of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, and temperature.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Web Mapping Portal:

A web mapping portal with real-time observations. This National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration site allows teachers and students to use tools to generate maps, establish relationships between maps and databases, and learn the utility of Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Parent Resources

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

Perspectives Video: Experts

Severe Weather Formation:

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

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

El Niño and La Niña:

Learn how the ocean pressures the climate into changing.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

How do Landforms and Water Impact Climate?:

A climatologist rains down information about how physical factors form regional climates.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Dissolved Oxygen in Aquatic Ecosystems:

Dissolved oxygen is important to all life in and out of the water! Learn more in this video!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Severe Weather Demo:

A climatologist raises the bar with this classroom-ready 3D fluid dynamics weather demonstration.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea