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Global Patterns
http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/complexsystems/activities/pattern.html

Federica Raia, On the Cutting Edge Collection - SERC (Science Education Resource Center)

This activity supports educators in the use of the activities that accompany the GLOBE Program's Earth System Poster 'Exploring Connections in Year 2007'. Students identify global patterns and connections in environmental data that include soil moisture, insolation, surface temperature, cloud fraction, precipitation, world topography/bathymetry, aerosol optical thickness, and biosphere (from different times of the year) with the goal of recognizing patterns and trends in global data sets.

Activity takes one to two class periods.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Sunlight reaching the Earth can heat the land, ocean, and atmosphere. Some of that sunlight is reflected back to space by the surface, clouds, or ice. Much of the sunlight that reaches Earth is absorbed and warms the planet.
About Teaching Principle 1
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Earth’s climate is influenced by interactions involving the Sun, ocean, atmosphere, clouds, ice, land, and life. Climate varies by region as a result of local differences in these interactions.
About Teaching Principle 2
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Environmental observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system. From the bottom of the ocean to the surface of the Sun, instruments on weather stations, buoys, satellites, and other platforms collect climate data. To learn about past climates, scientists use natural records, such as tree rings, ice cores, and sedimentary layers. Historical observations, such as native knowledge and personal journals, also document past climate change.
About Teaching Principle 5
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Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines

1. Questioning, Analysis and Interpretation Skills:G) Drawing conclusions and developing explanations
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G) Drawing conclusions and developing explanations.
1. Questioning, Analysis and Interpretation Skills:C) Collecting information
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C) Collecting information.
1. Questioning, Analysis and Interpretation Skills:E) Organizing information
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E) Organizing 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:2.1 The Earth as a Physical System:C) Energy
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C) Energy.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.2 The Living Environment:C) Systems and connections
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C) Systems and connections.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.2 The Living Environment:D) Flow of matter and energy
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D) Flow of matter and energy.

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

Scientific investigations usually involve the collection of relevant data, the use of logical reasoning, and the application of imagination in devising hypotheses and explanations to make sense of the collected data.
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The temperature of a place on the earth's surface tends to rise and fall in a somewhat predictable pattern every day and over the course of a year. The pattern of temperature changes observed in a place tends to vary depending on how far north or south of the equator the place is, how near to oceans it is, and how high above sea level it is.
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Climatic conditions result from latitude, altitude, and from the position of mountain ranges, oceans, and lakes. Dynamic processes such as cloud formation, ocean currents, and atmospheric circulation patterns influence climates as well.
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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

  • Students will need some guidance from the instructor to frame their observations.
  • This activity has been modified from the original GLOBE poster and activities, that are linked, and offer additional background and instructions.

About the Science

  • This a skill-based activity that focuses on having students recognize patterns in global data sets.
  • This skill is important for critical thinking while analyzing large data sets and data-based imagery.
  • The activity can be used with data on the GLOBE poster or with any data set.
  • Comments from expert scientist: This course provides a broad overview of the Earth System. I see this as a strength compared to other ways of presenting the material such as going into detail on each Earth System component but then missing the big picture. The process of formulating hypotheses is critical to the scientific method. In this course, students are pushed to develop their own hypotheses.

About the Pedagogy

  • This activity uses a jigsaw approach to have students work in small groups while observing data-based imagery.
  • The activity does not contain specific handouts or instructions, so it will need to be tailored by the instructor.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

Related URLs These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEAN

GLOBE Earth System Poster "Exploring Connections in Year 2007": http://classic.globe.gov/page?earth_system

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