National Geographic Society Xpeditions
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Activity takes about 4-6 hours. Computer access is needed for each student team.Discuss this Resource»
Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»
About Teaching Climate Literacy
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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- Early question about snowfall should be omitted because of the unexplained relationship between inches of snow and inches of precipitation.
- Students may need direction in converting inches to centimeters and Fahrenheit to Celsius.
- The lesson has a set of instructions about how to use Excel to create a climograph. Note that student instructions may need to be modified to work on the version of Excel available to the students.
- A similar resource is http://mynasadata.larc.nasa.gov/preview_lesson.php?&passid=76.
About the Science
- Activity helps students understand climate and weather and how they vary.
- Activity uses climate data provided at http://www.worldclimate.com/ which date from 1996 or before and were compiled by Robert Hoare.
- Climate classification system is called Koeppen after the German climatologist Wladimir Koeppen, not Kvppen.
- Note that the 5 US climographs that are given to identify the city have different y-axis scales and are, therefore, somewhat confusing - students will need to be careful to notice that.
- Comment from scientist: Not a lot of discussion about the role of proximity to oceans for climate. In the US, this will be seen in terms of precipitation e.g. Seattle vs. Boston but it's also important for temperature. This is especially true for Europe vs. Eastern U.S. - i.e. Rome and NYC are at the same latitude but the temperature climographs would look much different.
About the Pedagogy
- Activity begins with a guiding question and provides structure, tools and resources for students to be able to answer the questions and apply what they learned to other climates.
- Learning is carefully scaffolded so that students understand climate zones and what can be gleaned from analyzing climate data.
- Data sheets are provided.
- Directions for addressing diverse students are included. Activity provides suggestions on how it can be modified for students who have difficulty reading graphs or with mathematics using spreadsheets as well as for ELL students.
- This resource engages students in using scientific data.
See other data-rich activities
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