Jump to this Activity »
Arctic Climate Curriculum, Activity 1: Exploring the Arctic

Anne Gold, Karin Kirk, CIRES Education and Outreach; University of Colorado Boulder

This lesson sequence guides students to learn about the geography and the unique characteristics of the Arctic, including vegetation, and people who live there. Students use Google Earth to explore the Arctic and learn about meteorological observations in the Arctic, including collecting their own data in hands-on experiments. This is the first part of a three-part curriculum about Arctic climate.

Activity takes about three to four 50-minute class periods. Additional materials are needed for the hands-on activities.

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

About the Content

  • A good introduction to the Arctic and the differences between it and lower latitudes: light, vegetation, climate. Also good for working with weather and climate as activity has students gathering local information on soil temperature, albedo, and humidity.
  • Comments from expert scientist: Comprehensive Arctic Climate educational tool with extensive material, activities (with numerous extensions), data and ideas. My only criticism is that it is so ambitious and comprehensive that it takes a little while to get situated and figure out exactly what this material encompasses.

About the Pedagogy

  • Students are introduced to the Arctic through vegetation data, native population information, and Arctic research stations (IASOA). They explore the station sites through Google Earth and then gather local data on their own of albedo, relative humidity, and soil temperature. Students can then consider what their data tells them about where they live and how it might be different or important to study in the Arctic.
  • Uses a series of multimedia resources as well as science data that students both collect and analyze.
  • There are two more Arctic Climate Activities that can be used in combination with this resource.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Teacher notes are clear with instructions and student handouts, along with links to articles and information that can be read online or possibly printed out for classroom use.
  • Instructions for using Google Earth are included.
  • Complete answer key is available to teachers per email request.
Entered the Collection: June 2015 Last Reviewed: June 2015

Jump to this Activity »