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Global Patterns

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.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Climate Literacy

This Activity builds on the following concepts of Climate Literacy.

Click a topic below for supporting information, teaching ideas, and sample activities.

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

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, and offers additional background and instructions.

About the Content

  • Although the 2007 data may be dated, this activity is more about recognizing patterns in spatial data. This approach of teaching with data is valid and useful.
  • 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 activity 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 activity, 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

Here is a NASA education website that also has a link to the GLOBE 2007 activities: https://pmm.nasa.gov/education/lesson-plans/globe-earth-system-poster-learning-activities
Entered the Collection: March 2013 Last Reviewed: October 2016

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