Cindy Shellito, University of Northern Colorado, InTeGrate, SERC
Activity takes about one 30-minute class session.Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»
See how this Activity supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
High School: 2 Science and Engineering Practices
About Teaching Climate Literacy
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2.4 Water stores and transfers energy.
Notes From Our Reviewers
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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- It would be useful for instructors to show a larger map (that includes the continents) in the very beginning of the unit so students can better visualize the part of the ocean the activity is focused on.
- This activity can be taught in a jigsaw format, with different groups of students examining separate types of data, and then sharing their findings. Alternatively, educators can skip the jigsaw format and have the students look at all three data types.
- This activity can be paired with Case Study 2.2 in this unit, https://serc.carleton.edu/integrate/teaching_materials/climate_change/casestudy2-2.html
- This activity can be used prior to an introduction to the El Niño - Southern Oscillation, which is Unit 3 in this module https://serc.carleton.edu/integrate/teaching_materials/climate_change/unit3.html.
- Suggestions to the instructor are included in the activity overview.
About the Science
- This activity engages students in examining tropical Pacific pressure, sea-surface temperature, and precipitation data over a 10-year time span.
- Comments from expert scientist:
Excellent educational resource on all levels.
- Relevant to today's biggest issues
- Requires a strong sense of interpretation of widely-used data
- Requires communication between group members and classmates
- Interpretations of both means and anomalies is great - definitely want to discuss with the class the differences between the two and where they are derived from
Suggestion: In my experience teaching ENSO material, it was really important to clarify that pressure is ATMOSPHERIC pressure...
About the Pedagogy
- This exercise helps students become familiar with the idea that scientists learn about relationships in the climate system by looking at changes in the oceans and atmosphere over a period of years.
- Students are engaged with map-based data plots and a set of questions that help them work through the meaning of the plots.
- Students show their understanding of the concepts by completing a set of questions and by debriefing the class on their findings. An answer key is provided.
- This resource engages students in using scientific data.
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Technical Details/Ease of Use
- This activity is well thought out and carefully described. Each step of the process is thoroughly documented.
- Handouts are clearly presented and easy to follow. Teaching notes accompany the activity.
- Data is presented in PowerPoint form and can be either projected or printed.
Related URLs These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEANThis activity is part of a larger unit on climate change called Climate of Change: Interactions and Feedbacks between Water, Air, and Ice.
Next Generation Science Standards See how this Activity supports:
Science and Engineering Practices: 2
HS-P1.3:ask questions to determine relationships, including quantitative relationships, between independent and dependent variables
HS-P6.2:Construct and revise an explanation based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from a variety of sources (including students’ own investigations, models, theories, simulations, peer review) and the assumption that theories and laws that describe the natural world operate today as they did in the past and will continue to do so in the future.