Becca Hatheway, Kerry Zarlengo, Lisa Gardiner, Elementary GLOBE; University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
This series of three learning activities each take three to four 30-45 minute classes. These activities may require additional materials.Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»
See how this Activity supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
About Teaching Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing Sun is primary energy
3.1 The Sun is major source of energy for organisms and ecosystems.
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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- The activity contains several components that could be used together or individually. Teachers can mix and match parts of the activities to suit their situations.
- There is a teaching implementation guide on the Globe Elementary main web page that discusses how an educator can implement the storybook guided units in their classroom.
- At the end of the story book there is a section on "Teaching Notes" that provides more background information for the teacher on the activities that are to follow.
- Some parts of this activity could be used in an online or learn-at-home setting. In particular, the 'We're all Connected' activity could be done independently.
- Be aware that the "Earth System in a Bottle" activity involves plant seedlings that do not live, because they have not had access to all the components for life (water, sunlight, soil) or that fail to germinate. This may be upsetting to students, so teachers are advised to be sensitive to how that part of the activity is used. Seeds could potentially be planted outside to keep growing.
About the Science
- The 'Earth System in A Bottle' activity uses home-made terrariums that have water, sunlight, and soil either present or not present, so students can observe and record what happens when one system is not present and compares it to the 'control' terrarium which contains all the elements for life. This engages students in practicing science methods.
- The 'We're All Connected' activity guides students though outdoor observations of earth systems, and asks students to draw connections between different systems.
- The "Earth System Play" establishes the concept that all parts of the earth system are connected and all are essential. This topic is reinforced in a creative way that would be fun for students to act out, and provides a blend of scientific thinking and creative/artistic thinking.
- This module considers the cryosphere to be part of the hydrosphere.
- Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.
About the Pedagogy
- The visuals that are created for each system are clear and simple.
- This module relies heavily on the book that is connected to the module, and reviewers found the book to be excellent in both content and grade level.
- Predictable routine of daily observation and discussion of clear vocabulary -- living, water, air -- which helps language development.
- The activities incorporate many facets of learning such as designing and carrying out an experiment, independent observations and discussions with groups, and an art component of creating and designing a play.
- The activities have several options for extension to spend more time on this topic, and offer modifications/adaptions for younger and older students.
- In the 'We're All Connected' activity, encourage students to label the arrows with specific descriptions of how the elements are connected (rather than just showing that they are connected). This would make the activity into more of a concept map.