Jean Pennycook, Earth Exploration Toolbook/TERC
Activity takes five 45-minute periods. Computer access required.Discuss this Resource»
Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing 5b
Other materials addressing 5c
Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines
Other materials addressing:
C) Collecting information.
Other materials addressing:
F) Working with models and simulations.
Other materials addressing:
A) Processes that shape the Earth.
Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks
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 |
- Pair ELL students with non-ELL students at the computers if possible. Teachers should download the PSICAT programs to computers ahead of time.
- Spend some extra time guiding students through the PSICAT program.
- Reinforce that the oldest sediments are at the bottom of the core and the youngest sediments are at the top of the core; this is particularly important when students build their own core to illustrate a warm climate and open water in the Ross Sea followed by a period of cooling, the advance of an ice sheet, and finally a period of warming with a retreat of the ice sheet.
- Refer through the activity back to the guiding questions at the end of the case study Climate is indicated by the type of sediment found in the cores.
- To shorten this activity, students can do parts of the step-by-steps such as viewing the cards with images of the core
- If time for the complete activity is not available, having students interact with the interactive animation in Step 4, showing an ice shelf advancing and retreating, is recommended http://andrill.org/system/files/web/images/edu/iceshelfadvanceretreat.swf
- A related core investigation activity which is not computer-based and is less involved is http://www.andrill.org/flexhibit/flexhibit/materials/activities/Activity5A-ChartingTemperatureChanges.pdf
About the Science
- A detailed and challenging series of activities that engage students in the science of analyzing ice cores to study paleoclimate using the types of tools used by scientists to analyze data.
- Comments from expert scientist: Very good material. Puts actual research tools to use. I like the interpretive steps in the activities.
About the Pedagogy
- The lesson is scaffolded so that students learn about ocean sediment cores, which they then apply to actual data sets. The multiple extensions and links to other explorations and visuals meets the needs of an academically diverse classes.
- Very complete treatment of this subject with background, case study, step-by-step instructions, information about the data and tools, and extensions to take the exercise further.
- Best practice use of applied technology and models to study past climates.
- The "Going Further" section provides a number of suggestions for inquiry-based learning. The step-by-step is guided inquiry.
- This resource engages students in using scientific data.
See other data-rich activities
Technical Details/Ease of Use
- The PSICAT download program may be a technical concern for teachers. Pre-loading this software and testing the tool before class is highly recommended, and this may be an issue for some schools.
- Pop up windows in the PSICAT software aid help learners understand and follow the directions to use technology in the activity.
- Interactive animation is a Shockwave file that might need a plug-in for some computers
- There is a tutorial movie for the PSICAT application in the Going Further section.
- If images look fuzzy on the page, click on them to enlarge.
HS-ESS2-2: Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth's surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
Disciplinary Core Ideas
HS-ESS3.D2: Through computer simulations and other studies, important discoveries are still being made about how the ocean, the atmosphere, and the biosphere interact and are modified in response to human activities.
HS-LS4.C4: Changes in the physical environment, whether naturally occurring or human induced, have thus contributed to the expansion of some species, the emergence of new distinct species as populations diverge under different conditions, and the decline–and sometimes the extinction–of some species.
Science and Engineering Practices
HS-P1.1: ask questions that arise from careful observation of phenomena, or unexpected results, to clarify and/or seek additional information.
HS-P2.6: Develop and/or use a model (including mathematical and computational) to generate data to support explanations, predict phenomena, analyze systems, and/or solve problems.
HS-P6.2: Construct and revise an explanation based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from a variety of sources (including students’ own investigations, models, theories, simulations, peer review) 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.
HS-P8.5: Communicate scientific and/or technical information or ideas (e.g. about phenomena and/or the process of development and the design and performance of a proposed process or system) in multiple formats (i.e., orally, graphically, textually, mathematically).
MS-C7.1: Explanations of stability and change in natural or designed systems can be constructed by examining the changes over time and forces at different scales, including the atomic scale.
MS-C1.4: Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data.
HS-C2.2: Cause and effect relationships can be suggested and predicted for complex natural and human designed systems by examining what is known about smaller scale mechanisms within the system.
HS-C7.1: Much of science deals with constructing explanations of how things change and how they remain stable.
Have you used these materials with your students? Do you have insights to share with other educators about their use? Please share with the community by adding a comment below.
Please use this space only for discussion about teaching with these particular materials.
For more general discussion about teaching climate literacy please use our general discussion boards.
To report a problem or direct a comment to the CLEAN project team please use our feedback form (or the feedback link at the bottom of every page).
Off-topic posts will be deleted.