Margy Kuntz, PBS Teachers
Activity takes two to three 45-minute lesson periods plus time for presentations. Computers with internet access are useful.Discuss this Resource»
Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»
Use with middle school students might require some adaptations.
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing 5b
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing Climate change has consequences
Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines
Other materials addressing:
A) Identifying and investigating issues.
Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks
Notes From Our Reviewers
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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- Instructors may want to move the student reading in Step 1 "All About Glaciers" and make it a reference for students for their research on the Internet, Step 4.
- Create worksheets or scaffolded guides for students to help them conduct more targeted research.
- Consider having students work in groups during the Internet research component.
- Provide age-appropriate Internet sites for research (Step 4). Distribute the rubric for the presentations to students ahead of time.
- This activity is an opportunity to discuss the process of science and how to vet for quality of research and information.
- Also link to Extreme Ice Survey education section: http://www.extremeicesurvey.org/index.php/education_toc/
- Other supplemental activities to aid student understanding of glacial processes include the PhET Glaciers Interactive http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/glaciers and the ANDRILL collection of hands-on experiences http://www.andrill.org/flexhibit/flexhibit/materials/activities/index.html.
About the Science
- Students investigate how scientists monitor changes in Earth's glaciers, ice caps, and ice sheets.
- This activity relates to the PBS NOVA program on the Extreme Ice Survey, which makes use of time-lapse photography to measure rapid changes in glaciers and ice sheets: http://www.extremeicesurvey.org
- Refer to NSIDC "All About Glaciers" website for background materials for the teacher and/or interested students: http://nsidc.org/glaciers/
About the Pedagogy
- The teaching sequence, from eliciting student background knowledge to the final presentation, effectively builds student knowledge about glaciers and how scientists study their changes.
- Additional structure may help guide students in doing research (Step 4).
- Building student knowledge about glaciers using related CLEAN selected activities prior to doing this activity would help set the stage, particularly their glacier research.
Technical Details/Ease of Use
- If Internet access is not available for all students, the initial readings can be printed and distributed.
- Some of the links are broken within the activity, yet those sites still exist at the links below. World Glacier Inventory: http://nsidc.org/data/glacier_inventory/ All About Glaciers: http://nsidc.org/glaciers/
Related URLs These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEANPBS NOVA Extreme Ice site: http://www.pbs.org/teachers/connect/resources/6874/preview/; Extreme Ice Survey education section: http://www.extremeicesurvey.org/index.php/education_toc/
MS-ESS3-5: Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
HS-ESS3-6: Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
Disciplinary Core Ideas
MS-ESS2.C1: Water continually cycles among land, ocean, and atmosphere via transpiration, evaporation, condensation and crystallization, and precipitation, as well as downhill flows on land.
Science and Engineering Practices
MS-P3.3: Evaluate the accuracy of various methods for collecting data.
MS-P4.4: Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for phenomena.
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-P8.5: Communicate scientific and/or technical information (e.g. about a proposed object, tool, process, system) in writing and/or through oral presentations.
MS-P1.1: Ask questions that arise from careful observation of phenomena, models, or unexpected results, to clarify and/or seek additional information.
HS-P1.1: ask questions that arise from careful observation of phenomena, or unexpected results, to clarify and/or seek additional information.
HS-P4.1: Analyze data using tools, technologies, and/or models (e.g., computational, mathematical) in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims or determine an optimal design solution.
HS-P4.4: Compare and contrast various types of data sets (e.g., self-generated, archival) to examine consistency of measurements and observations.
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-P7.5: Make and defend a claim based on evidence about the natural world or the effectiveness of a design solution that reflects scientific knowledge and student-generated evidence.
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-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-C7.1: 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.
MS-C2.2: Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural or designed systems.
MS-C3.1: Time, space, and energy phenomena can be observed at various scales using models to study systems that are too large or too small.
HS-C1.1: Different patterns may be observed at each of the scales at which a system is studied and can provide evidence for causality in explanations of phenomena
HS-C2.1: Empirical evidence is required to differentiate between cause and correlation and make claims about specific causes and effects.
HS-C3.2: Some systems can only be studied indirectly as they are too small, too large, too fast, or too slow to observe directly.
HS-C4.4: Models can be used to predict the behavior of a system, but these predictions have limited precision and reliability due to the assumptions and approximations inherent in models.
HS-C5.2: Changes of energy and matter in a system can be described in terms of energy and matter flows into, out of, and within that system.
HS-C7.3: Feedback (negative or positive) can stabilize or destabilize a system.
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