Phenology: A Place-Based Study to Understand Climate Change Unit
When the seasons change, we notice changes in the length of the day, the air temperature, and the plants and animals. Keeping track of these changes can help us see other changes related to climate. Using data, we can answer questions like: Is this year different from past years? Is there a trend in seasonal changes? How might these trends affect the organisms in our environments?
Download the Phenology Unit (Acrobat (PDF) 234kB Dec9 21)
Context for Use
Grade Level: Middle School
Class: Integrated Earth and Life Science
Instructional Time: 4-week unit that can be an ongoing year-long investigation
Instructional Strategy: Project-Based Field Study
- Collect and analyze data from local weather stations to observe atmospheric variables and changes in length of day during seasonal changes and use hands-on and computer models to understand why seasonal variation occurs. (MS-ESS1-1)
- Conduct field studies to examine the changes in plants and animals during seasonal change. (MS-LS2-4)
- Analyze previous years' atmospheric and seasonal onset data to determine if/how the timing of seasonal onset is changing; identify the causes of those changes; and debate the costs and benefits of those changes. (MS-ESS3-5)
CLEAN Resources Used in this Unit
- Seasonal Change on Land and Water
- Global Patterns in Green Up and Green Down
- Changes in Hardiness Zones
- Climate Change and Citizen Science
- Blooming Thermometers
- Analyzing the Data: It's time to tell the story about buds, leaves and global warming
- Why fly south? How climate change alters the phenology of plants and animals
- Changes Ahoof: Could Climate Change Affect Arctic Caribou?
- How do Seasonal Temperature Patterns Vary Among Different Regions of the World?
- Native Voices: Navajo, Inuit, North Dakota United Tribes