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Global And Great Lakes Climate Change
http://changingclimate.osu.edu/assets/docs/2012edu_CurriculaGlobeV8.pdf

Ohio Sea Grant, Ohio State University

In this activity students work with data to analyze local and global temperature anomaly data to look for warming trends. The activity focuses on the Great Lakes area.

Activity takes one to two 50-minute class periods.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Activity supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 1 Performance Expectation, 2 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 3 Cross Cutting Concepts, 8 Science and Engineering Practices

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Definition of climate and climatic regions
About Teaching Principle 4
Other materials addressing 4a
Changes in climate is normal but varies over times/ space
About Teaching Principle 4
Other materials addressing 4d
Observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system
About Teaching Principle 5
Other materials addressing 5b
Climate models are robust enough to be used for guiding decision and actions as response to climate change
About Teaching Principle 5
Other materials addressing 5e

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

  • The activity may be best for younger students or those with weak backgrounds in data and graphing.
  • The activity could be adapted for local data from anywhere. In the activity sheet the link for the US Historical Climatology Network guides students to find local data.
  • The National Climate Assessment is another good source for local and regional temperature anomaly data.

About the Science

  • This is an activity that incorporates global and local (Great Lakes) datasets of temperature anomalies.
  • Students are encouraged to explore temporal and spatial scale, look for trends, and draw conclusions from the graphs they create using global and local temperature anomaly data from the Great Lakes Region.
  • Comments from expert scientist: A good exercise in recognizing temperature variability from year to year.

About the Pedagogy

  • The activity is well-structured to have groups of students graph 26-year periods of historical temperature anomaly data. Students are then asked to make predictions about how they would expect short-term trends to continue into the future. Students then combine their graphs to examine trends over a longer time scale and assess the value of long-term data for increasing predictability of trends.
  • Teacher and Student version of the activity are provided.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • The teacher guide is very helpful with suggestions for use in the classroom.
  • Activity is in pdf form with all data, answer sheets, and answer key provided. This is a good activity for a low-tech classroom as no computers are needed.
  • Note that Climate Literacy Principles indicated on the activity front page are incorrect (the text is more or less correct but the Literacy numbers are incorrect)

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Activity supports:

Middle School

Performance Expectations: 1

MS-ESS3-5:Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 2

MS-ESS2.A2:The planet’s systems interact over scales that range from microscopic to global in size, and they operate over fractions of a second to billions of years. These interactions have shaped Earth’s history and will determine its future.

MS-ESS3.D1:Human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature (global warming). Reducing the level of climate change and reducing human vulnerability to whatever climate changes do occur depend on the understanding of climate science, engineering capabilities, and other kinds of knowledge, such as understanding of human behavior and on applying that knowledge wisely in decisions and activities.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 3

Stability and Change, Patterns, Scale, Proportion and Quantity

MS-C1.4:Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data.

MS-C3.1:Time, space, and energy phenomena can be observed at various scales using models to study systems that are too large or too small.

MS-C7.1: Explanations of stability and change in natural or designed systems can be constructed by examining the changes over time and forces at different scales, including the atomic scale.

Science and Engineering Practices: 8

Developing and Using Models, Analyzing and Interpreting Data, Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking, Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions, Engaging in Argument from Evidence, Asking Questions and Defining Problems

MS-P1.7:Ask questions that challenge the premise(s) of an argument or the interpretation of a data set.

MS-P2.4:Develop and/or revise a model to show the relationships among variables, including those that are not observable but predict observable phenomena.

MS-P2.5:Develop and/or use a model to predict and/or describe phenomena.

MS-P4.1:Construct, analyze, and/or interpret graphical displays of data and/or large data sets to identify linear and nonlinear relationships.

MS-P4.2:Use graphical displays (e.g., maps, charts, graphs, and/or tables) of large data sets to identify temporal and spatial relationships.

MS-P5.2:Use mathematical representations to describe and/or support scientific conclusions and design solutions

MS-P6.1:Construct an explanation that includes qualitative or quantitative relationships between variables that predict(s) and/or describe(s) phenomena.

MS-P7.2:Respectfully provide and receive critiques about one’s explanations, procedures, models, and questions by citing relevant evidence and posing and responding to questions that elicit pertinent elaboration and detail.


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