Jump to this Activity »
Impacts of Change in Glacier Ice
http://seagrant.uaf.edu/marine-ed/curriculum/grade-8/investigation-2.html

Alaska Sea Grant

This is a five-activity module that explores the evidence for and impacts of melting glacial ice, with resources from major institutions and scientists who study glaciers -- primarily in Arctic areas. The suite of activities includes both glaciers and melting ice, as well as the impact of melt water downstream. Each activity follows the 5E model of Engagement, Exploration, Explanation, Elaboration, and Evaluation.

Entire module takes 9 to 11 days, but activities can be done in chunks. Additional materials necessary.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Activity supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 1 Performance Expectation, 3 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 6 Cross Cutting Concepts, 6 Science and Engineering Practices

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Sea level rise and resulting impacts is due to melting ice and thermal expansion and increases the risk
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7a
Ecosystems on land and in the ocean have been and will continue to be disturbed by climate change
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7e
Climate change has consequences
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing Climate change has consequences

Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines

1. Questioning, Analysis and Interpretation Skills:B) Designing investigations
Other materials addressing:
B) Designing investigations.
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.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.3 Humans and Their Societies:D) Global Connections
Other materials addressing:
D) Global Connections.

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

  • Because this lesson is designed for Alaskan schools and is focused on the Arctic, it may be difficult to adapt for other states, but it is a solid, regionally focused resource about important climate and geoscience concepts.
  • Whole module takes 9 to 11 days to complete, although activities can be "chunked" if less time is available.
  • Hands-on activities, combined with background content and images, provide an engaging suite of resources.

About the Science

  • This investigation explores the ways that changing climate can affect physical and biological conditions in rivers the ocean and other aquatic ecosystems within Alaska.
  • Comments from expert scientist: Provides good hands-on experience to learn about changes in the glaciers and their effects on the environment.

About the Pedagogy

  • Carefully and thoroughly designed series of activities. The learning objectives are framed as focus questions.
  • This activity has excellent detailed guidance including alternative activities for the teacher through all components of this lesson.
  • There are several elaborations and extensions suggested throughout the lesson. Complete teacher background information and preparation guidance is provided at the end of the module.
  • Educators and learners who are not in Alaska may need to seek out additional information to learn about the environment and issues related to Alaska fisheries, glacial melt, and waterways. CLEAN has a number of these resources.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Requires computer with internet access.
  • All the links except one are working as of October 2016. The one broken link is for a world map of sea level rise, which can be obtained through an internet search.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Activity supports:

Middle School

Performance Expectations: 1

MS-ESS3-5:Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 3

MS-ESS2.C5:Water’s movements—both on the land and underground—cause weathering and erosion, which change the land’s surface features and create underground formations.

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.

MS-LS2.C1:Ecosystems are dynamic in nature; their characteristics can vary over time. Disruptions to any physical or biological component of an ecosystem can lead to shifts in all its populations.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 6

Systems and System Models, Energy and Matter, Stability and Change, Patterns, Cause and effect

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.

MS-C4.2: Models can be used to represent systems and their interactions—such as inputs, processes and outputs—and energy, matter, and information flows within systems.

MS-C5.2: Within a natural or designed system, the transfer of energy drives the motion and/or cycling of matter.

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

Science and Engineering Practices: 6

Developing and Using Models, Planning and Carrying Out Investigations, Analyzing and Interpreting Data, Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions, Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information, Asking Questions and Defining Problems

MS-P1.6:Ask questions that can be investigated within the scope of the classroom, outdoor environment, and museums and other public facilities with available resources and, when appropriate, frame a hypothesis based on observations and scientific principles.

MS-P2.7:Develop and/or use a model to generate data to test ideas about phenomena in natural or designed systems, including those representing inputs and outputs, and those at unobservable scales.

MS-P3.1:Plan an investigation individually and collaboratively, and in the design: identify independent and dependent variables and controls, what tools are needed to do the gathering, how measurements will be recorded, and how many data are needed to support a claim.

MS-P4.5:Apply concepts of statistics and probability (including mean, median, mode, and variability) to analyze and characterize data, using digital tools when feasible.

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-P8.1:Critically read scientific texts adapted for classroom use to determine the central ideas and/or obtain scientific and/or technical information to describe patterns in and/or evidence about the natural and designed world(s).


Jump to this Activity »