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Reading Antarctica's Rock Cores

LuAnn Dahlman, Andrill

In this activity, students learn about the tools and methods paleoclimatologists use to reconstruct past climates. In constructing sediment cores themselves, students will achieve a very good understanding of the sedimentological interpretation of past climates that scientists can draw from cores.

Activity takes three to four 45-minute class periods with some outside prep and time for exhibit. Additional materials required.

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Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Changes in climate is normal but varies over times/ space
About Teaching Principle 4
Other materials addressing 4d
Observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system
About Teaching Principle 5
Other materials addressing 5b

Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines

1. Questioning, Analysis and Interpretation Skills:G) Drawing conclusions and developing explanations
Other materials addressing:
G) Drawing conclusions and developing explanations.
1. Questioning, Analysis and Interpretation Skills:B) Designing investigations
Other materials addressing:
B) Designing investigations.
1. Questioning, Analysis and Interpretation Skills:C) Collecting information
Other materials addressing:
C) Collecting information.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.1 The Earth as a Physical System:A) Processes that shape the Earth
Other materials addressing:
A) Processes that shape the Earth.

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

  • After completing this activity, students will be ready for an in-depth discussion about climate of the past and research methods.
  • These hands-on activities are part of a unit of similar active-learning activities. Teachers should familiarize themselves with those that come before or after.

About the Science

  • Students build models of ice cores and sediment cores to learn about the tools and methods paleoclimatologists use to reconstruct the climate of the past. In constructing sediment cores themselves, students will achieve a very good understanding of the sedimentological interpretations that scientists can draw from a core.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • Hands-on activities will engage students of different learning styles.
  • Activities are part of the ANDRILL flexhibit series, which aim at getting students to present the model to others. This can be slightly modified to apply to a general classroom.
  • Nicely scaffolded going from simpler concepts to more sophisticated.
  • Very easy-to-follow procedures.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • PDF is designed to be printed double-sided; this explains the blank pages throughout the activity.

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

Download and read the Leader Notes for the full suite of Flexhibit activities at: http://www.andrill.org/flexhibit/flexhibit/materials/activities/Leader_Notes.pdf

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