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NASA S'COOL Lesson: The Sky and the Dichotomous Key
https://scool.larc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/view_lessonplan.cgi?id=54

Kara Houser, Kathy Gibbs, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Students use a Dichotomous Key to observe and identify cloud formations, and record and track changes in weather over time.

This learning activity takes 1 hour.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Activity supports the Next Generation Science Standards»

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

  • Despite several links being broken this resource can still be an effective hands-on activity.
  • There are several other activities on the S'COOL and NASA GLOBE websites that are related to these concepts.
  • At the bottom of the webpage there are teacher notes.
  • There is a connection to the citizen science project formerly called S'COOL but is now part of the NASA GLOBE Observer project.

About the Science

  • This activity has two main scientific topics: using a dichotomous key for identifying clouds and the relationship of clouds to temperature and pressure.
  • The dichotomous key is a widely used tool for many disciplines and using it for identifying clouds is a good way for young kids to familiarize themselves with that method.
  • Learning about clouds can lead to greater understandings of weather and climate patterns.
  • There are several extension activities that elaborate on different concepts including observing changes over time and participating in the citizen science projects.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • This activity establishes different ways to learn about clouds and how to identify them. It is a hands-on, nature-related activity that has several areas where the lesson can be extended.
  • The key is like a flow chart and may need some practice to understand especially for younger children.
  • There are several resources to assess the students as well as links to other related activities.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • There are several broken links; alternatives can be found with some searching.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Activity supports:


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