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Introduction to Earth's Climate

Kings Centre for Visualization in Science

This is the first of nine lessons in the Visualizing and Understanding the Science of Climate Change website. This lesson is an introduction to Earth's climate and covers key principles regarding Earth's unique climate, atmosphere, and regional and temporal climate differences.

Activity takes about 1-2 class periods or can be done as a homework assignment.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

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

  • Some students may have difficulty understanding the interactive applets without educator support.
  • Educator may want to make sure students know how to convert temperatures from Celsius to Fahrenheit (if necessary), because all temperatures in the lesson are in Celsius.

About the Content

  • Website and lessons were developed by a collaboration of international chemistry and educational organizations under the UN International Year of Chemistry resolution 2011.
  • This lesson sets the groundwork for remaining lessons.
  • Comments from expert scientist: The atmosphere animation is great and interactive. Text is generally written in a clear, concise fashion. The historical temperature map animation is great, although the text can be hard to read. Additional graphics would be useful in the earlier "Key Ideas". Plain text becomes bland and ineffective quickly.

About the Pedagogy

  • Lesson includes key ideas, applets, keyword definitions hot-linked in the text, and an end-of-lesson quiz, which provides good questions that require critical thinking.
  • Lesson provides enough scientific information to explain weather and climate phenomena.
  • Lesson doesn't include a teacher's guide or answer keys.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Students can click through the lesson completely on their own, although applets would benefit from discussion with other students and educator.
Entered the Collection: October 2014 Last Reviewed: October 2014

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