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Evidence of Ice Free Seas
http://www.andrill.org/flexhibit/flexhibit/materials/activities/Activity4B-EvidenceOfIceFreeSeas.pdf

LuAnn Dahlman, ANDRILL

In this activity, students make a model sea floor sediment core using two types of buttons to represent fossil diatoms. They then compare the numbers of diatom fossils in the sediment at different depths to determine whether the seas were free of ice while the diatoms were alive.

Activity takes one class period (or less). Additional materials required.

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Climate Literacy
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Climate impacts ecosystems and past species extinctions
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Changes in climate is normal but varies over times/ space
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Observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system
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Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines

1. Questioning, Analysis and Interpretation Skills:C) Collecting information
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C) Collecting information.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.1 The Earth as a Physical System:A) Processes that shape the Earth
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A) Processes that shape the Earth.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.2 The Living Environment:A) Organisms, populations, and communities
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A) Organisms, populations, and communities.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.2 The Living Environment:B) Heredity and evolution
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B) Heredity and evolution.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.2 The Living Environment:C) Systems and connections
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C) Systems and 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

About the Science

  • The model built by students allows them to see how paleoclimate scientists use fossils to draw inferences about the climate at the time the fossils were living creatures.
  • Comments from expert scientist: The text is clear (explanations and questions), the activity is certainly going to be fun for elementary to middle school students, it is easy to set up, and the accompanying sheets and graphs are very helpful.

About the Pedagogy

  • The illustrated directions for students are exceptionally well done and each step is accompanied by excellent images to guide students.
  • Activity is carefully constructed to pose questions and reflection at regular intervals.
  • Excellent use of models to illustrate how scientists determine the nature of past climate history.
  • Students present results to visitors in a kind of science exhibit/presentation format.
  • Materials for this and other Andrill activity need to be secured in advance from home or purchased from Andrill Flexhibit kit.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Students should have no problem following the clear and well-written directions.

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