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Climate Change on the Antarctic Peninsula
http://www.units.muohio.edu/cryolab/education/documents/PenguinLesson_Constible.pdf

Juanita Constible, Luke Sandro, Richard E. Lee Jr., M.U. Ohio and Seen in The NSTA Science Teacher magazine

In this activity about climate change on the Antarctic Peninsula, learners investigate environmental changes in the living and nonliving resources of Antarctic peninsula and the impact of these changes on Adélie penguin communities. The activity stresses the importance of evidence in the formulation of scientific explanations.

Activity takes about 2 class periods (2-3 hours).

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Individual organisms survive within specific ranges of temperature, precipitation, humidity, and sunlight. Organisms exposed to climate conditions outside their normal range must adapt or migrate, or they will perish.
About Teaching Principle 3
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e on Earth depends on, is shaped by, and affects climate
About Teaching Principle L
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Ecosystems on land and in the ocean have been and will continue to be disturbed by climate change. Animals, plants, bacteria, and viruses will migrate to new areas with favorable climate conditions. Infectious diseases and certain species will be able to invade areas that they did not previously inhabit.
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7e

Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines

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:C) Systems and connections
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C) Systems and connections.

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

The world contains a wide diversity of physical conditions, which creates a wide variety of environments: freshwater, marine, forest, desert, grassland, mountain, and others. In any particular environment, the growth and survival of organisms depend on the physical conditions
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Individual organisms with certain traits are more likely than others to survive and have offspring.
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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

  • Consult text for several different strategies for shortening this lesson
  • Additional format for lesson available at NSTA Science Teacher Magazine 2007.
  • To supplement the Adélie penguin data set in the lesson, educator could add http://oceantoday.noaa.gov/adeliepenguins video.

About the Science

  • The activity stresses the importance of evidence in the formulation of scientific explanations.
  • Students investigate the ecological evidence/data sets (temperature data, numbers of breeding pairs of Adélie penguins, sea ice, precipitation, and krill densities) surrounding the decline in breeding successes of Adélie penguins along the western Antarctic peninsula.
  • Data provided is from a credible source.
  • Comments from expert scientist: This activity illustrates the interconnected nature of modern science requiring students to think about ocean, atmosphere, and biological processes.
  • The link between the role of increased cloud condensation nuclei (due to reduced sea ice) and increased precipitation is not correct.

About the Pedagogy

  • Uses a cooperative learning technique called a jigsaw.
  • Background information for teachers is concise and accurate.
  • A second version, printed in the NSTA's Science Teacher 2007, is a more polished version of this lesson, but it is not available online.
  • Engaging format for students with a basic assessment component. Data analysis and the nature of science are emphasized within the lesson, familiarizing students with how scientists work.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Student materials are well done.
  • Student materials are provided along with basic data sets and are well done.

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