Jump to this Activity »
Extreme Weather on Earth
http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/activity/extreme-weather-on-earth/?ar_a=1

Anna Mika, National Geographic Education

In this activity, students utilize a set of photographs and a 30 minute video on weather to investigate extreme weather events. They are posed with a series of questions that ask them to identify conditions predictive of these events, and record them on a worksheet. Climate and weather concepts defined.

Video length: 30 minutes.

Discuss this Resource»
Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

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
Other materials addressing 2a
Climate is not the same thing as weather. Weather is the minute-by-minute variable condition of the atmosphere on a local scale. Climate is a conceptual description of an area’s average weather conditions and the extent to which those conditions vary over long time intervals.
About Teaching Principle 4
Other materials addressing 4b
Scientific observations indicate that global climate has changed in the past, is changing now, and will change in the future. The magnitude and direction of this change is not the same at all locations on Earth.
About Teaching Principle 4
Other materials addressing 4d

Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines

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.

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

The earth has a variety of climates, defined by average temperature, precipitation, humidity, air pressure, and wind, over time in a particular place.
Explore the map of concepts related to this benchmark
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.
Explore the map of concepts related to this benchmark
The earth's climates have changed in the past, are currently changing, and are expected to change in the future, primarily due to changes in the amount of light reaching places on the earth and the composition of the atmosphere. The burning of fossil fuels in the last century has increased the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which has contributed to Earth's warming.
Explore the map of concepts related to this benchmark

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

  • Educators are encouraged to start the activity by activating students' prior knowledge about extreme weather on Earth.
  • As an extension to this activity, educator could encourage students to investigate what constitutes extreme weather. In some areas, certain weather-related events may not be classified as extreme.

About the Science

  • Students investigate types of extreme weather and their contributing factors, and then explore similarities and differences between weather and climate.
  • Comment from expert scientist: Good overview and use of imagery. Language is appropriate.

About the Pedagogy

  • Video and brilliant photography archived on the National Geographic Society's Website make this lesson stimulating; otherwise, it is a standard paper-and-pencil activity.
  • Text is provided underneath photographs, explaining the images.

Technical Details/Ease of Use


Jump to this Activity »



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.

Join the Discussion


Log in to reply