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http://forces.si.edu/arctic/pdf/ACT%202_CHANGES.pdf

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

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This activity develops student understanding of the relationship of weather and climate. Students use interview techniques to explore perceptions about local climate change among long-time residents of their community. Students then compare the results of their interviews to long term local temperature and precipitation records.

Activity takes about 3-4 classroom periods with several weeks for students to work on project assignment. Students need access to computers.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Activity supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 1 Disciplinary Core Idea, 4 Cross Cutting Concepts, 9 Science and Engineering Practices

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Definition of climate and climatic regions
About Teaching Principle 4
Other materials addressing 4a
Climate is not the same thing as weather – defining difference
About Teaching Principle 4
Other materials addressing 4b

Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines

1. Questioning, Analysis and Interpretation Skills:C) Collecting information
Other materials addressing:
C) Collecting information.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.1 The Earth as a Physical System:A) Processes that shape the Earth
Other materials addressing:
A) Processes that shape the Earth.

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Students will need help finding interview subjects and more time practicing their interviewing skills than the activity suggests.
  • Educators should start out teaching about climate variability over relatively small distances.
  • Educators may have to use climographs for their areas to identify comparable weather stations with long term temperature and precipitation records.
  • There are other sources for local historical weather data that vary from community to community. Look for a more complete local historical record online.
  • The assessment ideas suggest comparing 30-year records of temperature and precipitation in arctic cities to local cities. Include this assessment - it will strengthen the scientific understanding of the topic.
  • Resource from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) may provide a more complete learning experience than this resource (listed in the reference list.) Educators may find that the UCS resource helpful in in improving this activity.

About the Science

  • Activity teaches how to relate qualitative survey results to quantitative data sets.
  • Students are asked to take mean weather data from the closest city to them. But there are only a few US cities tracked on the NOAA website and the closest one may not have data representative of their area. Educator may need to supplement weather data from other sources.
  • Students interview long time community residents, analyze and interpret survey data and historic weather records.

About the Pedagogy

  • Activity helps students develop interviewing skills.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Easy to follow lesson plan - all materials including worksheets and educator guide are easily accessible.
  • Students will need access to a computer and may need help downloading data.

Related URLs These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEAN

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Activity supports:

Middle School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 1

MS-ESS2.D1:Weather and climate are influenced by interactions involving sunlight, the ocean, the atmosphere, ice, landforms, and living things. These interactions vary with latitude, altitude, and local and regional geography, all of which can affect oceanic and atmospheric flow patterns.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 4

Stability and Change, Patterns, Cause and effect

MS-C7.3:Stability might be disturbed either by sudden events or gradual changes that accumulate over time.

MS-C1.2: Patterns in rates of change and other numerical relationships can provide information about natural and human designed systems

MS-C1.4:Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data.

MS-C2.2:Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural or designed systems.

Science and Engineering Practices: 9

Analyzing and Interpreting Data, Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions, Engaging in Argument from Evidence, Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information, Asking Questions and Defining Problems

MS-P4.1:Construct, analyze, and/or interpret graphical displays of data and/or large data sets to identify linear and nonlinear relationships.

MS-P4.6:Consider limitations of data analysis (e.g., measurement error), and/or seek to improve precision and accuracy of data with better technological tools and methods (e.g., multiple trials).

MS-P6.3:Construct a scientific explanation based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from sources (including the students’ own experiments) and the assumption that theories and laws that describe the natural world operate today as they did in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

MS-P7.1:Compare and critique two arguments on the same topic and analyze whether they emphasize similar or different evidence and/or interpretations of facts.

MS-P8.3:Gather, read, and synthesize information from multiple appropriate sources and assess the credibility, accuracy, and possible bias of each publication and methods used, and describe how they are supported or not supported by evidence.

MS-P1.1:Ask questions that arise from careful observation of phenomena, models, or unexpected results, to clarify and/or seek additional information.

MS-P1.2:ask questions to identify and/or clarify evidence and/or the premise(s) of an argument.

MS-P1.3:Ask questions to determine relationships between independent and dependent variables and relationships in models.

MS-P1.5:Ask questions that require sufficient and appropriate empirical evidence to answer.


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