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Topic(s):

Biosphere, Climate, Elementary (K-4)

 

Scenario:

Climate Poem

Climate and Living Things

Temperatures and rain amounts and other things that count.
Are used to help climate scientists figure climate out.
They add things up, divide things, too. The future, try to see.
Do you want to become as climate smart as you can be?

Weather happens where you live, but climate comes in zones.
Climate zones help describe the places living things call home.
Polar, tropical and temperate zones are the major three.
If you could live in any one what would your favorite be?

Up and down the world around you'll find living things.
Some are big and some are small compared to human beings.
There are tiny ones that you can't see unless you use a tool.
But can penguins live in a desert climate and still keep their cool?

Human beings have ways and means to climate, they adjust.
Putting on a coat, a hat or gloves in some places is a must.
Other places where humans live are always nice and sunny.
But could a polar bear take off his coat or how about a bunny?

You might try to run and hide from lightning or loud thunder.
But other animals and plants have no beds to go crawling under.
What you wear right now you wear because of the weather.
What do birds do when they get cold? Wear more or different feathers?

Maybe you live where weather changes a lot with the seasons.
Humans can live most anywhere. Technology is the reason.
Other things live where they fit best or they adapt or die.
There are no palm trees at Earth's poles. Can you tell me why?

Living things have tricks and parts that help them to adapt.
But most living things, if they have a choice, prefer one habitat.
It's more than just the land, the plants or the amount of water.
What climate do you think is best for a Pacific Coast sea otter?

If you knew what lives where in the seas, air and on continents.
Or what crawls or swims along ocean bottoms or deep-sea vents.
Could see their homes, their neighbors and their habitats.
Could you guess what their climate's like with no climate maps?

Climate and Living Things
As you work through this module see if you can find answers to these essential questions and other questions of your own about climate and living things.
  • What do you wear, do or use that helps you live in your climate?
  • What do other living things in you neighborhood have, use or do that helps them live in your climate?
  • What does your climate have to do with how many and what kinds of plants you have in your neighborhood?
  • What does your climate have to do with how many and what kinds of animals you have in your neighborhood?
  • How are living things in your neighborhood the same or different from living things in other places on Earth with a different climate?

 

Date: 11/20/2009

Scenario Images:

Cimate Living Things
Earth is home to many living things. Some penguins live in cold, polar climate zones. Oak trees grow in temperate zones and change with the seasons. Some scorpions live in the dry, desert climate while many kinds of lush green plants live in the wet, hot, tropical climate. What kinds of animals and plants live you neighborhood and how would you describe your climate? Images: clipart.com



Sun
Sunshine around the world. What do the colors mean? The Sun shines and warms our air, water, land and us, too. Not all of the places on Earth get the same amount of sunshine. Even the same place on Earth gets different amounts of sunshine at different times (seasons) of the year. Watch this and see how the amount of sunshine changes during the year and from year to year around the world. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory



Land Plants
Plants on land around the world. What do the colors mean? Land plants grow almost anywhere there is enough sun, water and soil. Some places on Earth are thick with plants and others have none at all. Watch these and see how the amount of plants on land changes with the seasons and from year to year around the world. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory



Ocean Plants
Plants grow in the oceans, too. What do the colors mean? Some ocean plants, like giant kelp, grow on the ocean bottom, others, like tiny phytoplankton float in the water. Some places in the ocean have many plants and others almost none at all. Watch this and see how the amount of ocean plants changes from year to year around the world. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory



Resources:

 

Climate: Living Things (Cycle A)
These sites for kids will help you learn about climate and living things:


 

Earth Science Basics (Cycle A)
Need information about Earth's cycles, systems and processes? These resources are for you:


 

Learn About Climate and Living Things for Teachers (Cycle B)
Use these resources to build your understanding of climate and living things:

  • Principles of Climate Literacy – Climate literacy framework and more.
  • What is Climate? This Exploring Earth investigation explores factors affecting climate.
  • World Climates Information about climate classification, biomes and more.
  • The World's Biomes from the University of California's Museum of Paleontology.
  • NSTA Science Objects NSTA Science Objects are on-line interactive inquiry-based modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. Many objects are free to non-members and can be saved in a personal library by creating an account. On the home page select Earth and Space Science from the Subjects menu. Scroll to find topics of interest and these free specific objects:
    • Ocean Effects on Climate and Weather: Global Climate Patterns
    • Ocean Effects on Climate and Weather: Global Circulation Patterns
    • Oceans Effects on Climate and Weather: Global Precipitation and Energy
    • Effect of Oceans on Weather and Climate: Changing Climate
  • Global Climate Change from NASA's Eyes on the Earth - a complete resource for exploring climate change.
  • Human Influence on Global Climate This Exploring Earth investigation explores how human activities influence the global climate system.
  • Earth's Climate and Global Change This collection from Windows on the Universe explores a variety of climate topics.
  • U.S. Climate Normals This NCDC site has links to free information and data. Select Climate of the States then your state for a brief description of your climate.

 

Design You Own Investigation for Teachers (Cycle C)
The following provide lesson plans and more relating to climate and weather:


 

Sample Investigations:

 

A Way to Start Understanding Climate: Living Things (Cycle A)
This investigation explores the difference between weather and climate and how climate affects living things.

My Climate: Living Things - What would it be like to live in a place where the weather everyday was like the day you were born? Do this investigation to see what your personal climate would be like.

My Climate: Living Things for Teachers

Difficulty: beginner

 

Dinosaurs in My Neighborhood (Cycle A)
I bet you know that dinosaurs lived a long, long, long time ago in warm, sunny places full of big green plants. But did you know that some dinosaurs lived in cold places like Antarctica, too?

Read one of these e-books to learn more about these polar dinosaurs. Use the Play button to have the book read to you.


Think about the weather all year long in your neighborhood. Is it cold all the time? Does it rain a little or a lot? Does it change with the seasons? Weather is short-term or happening right now. Climate is long-term. It happens over years not days, weeks, or months. Now think about what a dinosaur that could live in your neighborhood climate would look like. Draw a picture and write a story like the one you read about your neighborhood dinosaur.

Dinosaurs in My Neighborhood for Teachers
Difficulty: beginner

 

Those Fussy Dinosaurs (Cycle A)
What if you were the real estate agent for a T. rex family? Where would you find a new place for them to live? They're fussy. They want a place that fits their lifestyle, with the right climate and plenty of food. In this investigation you use what you know and what you can find out about your client to choose a new home for them. Make up a sales pitch with a drawing of their new home that convinces them that it's their perfect place. Have a different favorite dino in mind? Then find a new home for them.

Those Fussy Dinosaurs for Teachers
Difficulty: beginner

 

Where Do I Live? (Cycle A)
Animals and plants live where they live mostly because of the weather. They need to be able to depend on that weather year after year. In other words, they like the climate where they live. Animals and plants live almost everywhere on Earth: in hot, dry places, in cold, wet places and in your neighborhood. Pick an animal or plant and find out where it lives, what it eats and if it has any special tricks that help it survive. Or pick a favorite place based on the climate and find out what lives there. Then build a diorama or draw a pitcure of that habitat or biome. Be sure to learn as much as you can about the climate: what the temperatures are like and how much it rains. Here's a place to start learning about different places on Earth and what lives there.

Where Do I Live? for Teachers
Difficulty: beginner

 

Learn About Climate and Living Things (Cycle B)
Work with your team to find answers to questions of your own and these Essential Questions about Earth's climate and living things:

  • What do you wear, do or use that helps you live in your climate?
  • What do other living things in you neighborhood have, use or do that helps them live in your climate?
  • What does your climate have to do with how many and what kinds of plants you have in your neighborhood?
  • What does your climate have to do with how many and what kinds of animals you have in your neighborhood?
  • How are living things in your neighborhood the same or different from living things in other places on Earth with a different climate?

Difficulty: beginner

 

Design a Climate: Living Things Investigation (Cycle C)
Design an investigation of your own that will help students ask and seek answers to questions like these about Earth's climate and living things:

  • What do you wear, do or use that helps you live in your climate?
  • What do other living things in you neighborhood have, use or do that helps them live in your climate?
  • What does your climate have to do with how many and what kinds of plants you have in your neighborhood?
  • What does your climate have to do with how many and what kinds of animals you have in your neighborhood?
  • How are living things in your neighborhood the same or different from living things in other places on Earth with a different climate?

Difficulty: beginner

 

 

Standards:

  • Science
    National Science Education Standards - Science Content Standards http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/nses/html/overview.html#content The science content standards outline what students should know, understand, and be able to do in the natural sciences over the course of K-12 education.
    • K-12 UNIFYING CONCEPTS AND PROCESSES
      The understandings and abilities associated with the following concepts and processes need to be developed throughout a student's educational experiences:
      • Systems, order, and organization
      • Evidence, models, and explanation
      • Constancy, change, and measurement
    • GRADES K-4 CONTENT STANDARDS
      • Science as Inquiry (Std A)
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
        • Understanding about scientific inquiry
      • Life Science (Std C)
        • The characteristics of organisms
        • Organisms and environments
      • Earth and Space Science (Std D)
        • Changes in earth and sky
      • Science and Technology (Std E)
        • Abilities of technological design
      • Science in Personal and Social Perspectives (Std F)
        • Changes in environments
  • Mathematics
    Principles and Standards for School Mathematics, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), 2000 http://standards.nctm.org/document/prepost/cover.htm This set of Standards proposes the mathematics concepts that all students should have the opportunity to learn. Each of these ten Standards applies across all grades, prekindergarten through grade 12. Even though each of these ten Standards applies to all grades, emphases and expectations will vary both within and between the grade bands (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12). For instance, the emphasis on number is greatest in prekindergarten through grade 2, and by grades 9-12, number receives less instructional attention. Also the total time for mathematical instruction will be divided differently according to particular needs in each grade band - for example, in the middle grades, the majority of instructional time would address algebra and geometry.
    • STANDARD 1: NUMBER AND OPERATION
      Mathematics instructional programs should foster the development of number and operation sense so that all students—
      • understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems;
    • STANDARD 2: PATTERNS, FUNCTIONS, AND ALGEBRA
      Mathematics instructional programs should include attention to patterns, functions, symbols, and models so that all students—
      • understand various types of patterns and functional relationships;
      • use symbolic forms to represent and analyze mathematical situations and structures;
      • use mathematical models and analyze change in both real and abstract contexts.
    • STANDARD 3: GEOMETRY AND SPATIAL SENSE
      Mathematics instructional programs should include attention to geometry and spatial sense so that all students—
      • select and use different representational systems, including coordinate geometry and graph theory;
    • STANDARD 4: MEASUREMENT
      Mathematics instructional programs should include attention to measurement so that all students—
      • understand attributes, units, and systems of measurement;
      • apply a variety of techniques, tools, and formulas for determining measurements.
    • STANDARD 5: DATA ANALYSIS, STATISTICS, AND PROBABILITY
      Mathematics instructional programs should include attention to data analysis, statistics, and probability so that all students—
      • pose questions and collect, organize, and represent data to answer those questions;
      • develop and evaluate inferences, predictions, and arguments that are based on data;
    • STANDARD 6: PROBLEM SOLVING
      Mathematics instructional programs should focus on solving problems as part of understanding mathematics so that all students—
      • develop a disposition to formulate, represent, abstract, and generalize in situations within and outside mathematics;
      • monitor and reflect on their mathematical thinking in solving problems.
    • STANDARD 8: COMMUNICATION
      Mathematics instructional programs should use communication to foster understanding of mathematics so that all students—
      • organize and consolidate their mathematical thinking to communicate with others;
      • express mathematical ideas coherently and clearly to peers, teachers, and others;
      • extend their mathematical knowledge by considering the thinking and strategies of others;
    • STANDARD 9: CONNECTIONS
      Mathematics instructional programs should emphasize connections to foster understanding of mathematics so that all students—
      • recognize, use, and learn about mathematics in contexts outside of mathematics.
    • STANDARD 10: REPRESENTATION
      Mathematics instructional programs should emphasize mathematical representations to foster understanding of mathematics so that all students—
      • use representations to model and interpret physical, social, and mathematical phenomena.
  • Geography
    Geography for Life: National Geography Standards, 1994
    • THE WORLD IN SPATIAL TERMS
      Geography studies the relationships between people, places, and environments by mapping information about them into a spatial context. The geographically informed person knows and understands:
      • How to use maps and other geographic representations, tools and technologies to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective
      • How to use mental maps to organize information about people, places, and environments in a spatial context
      • How to analyze the spatial organization of people, places, and environments on Earth’s surface
    • PLACES AND REGIONS
      The identities and lives of individuals and people are rooted in particular places and in those human constructs called regions. The geographically informed person knows and understands:
      • The physical and human characteristics of places
      • That people create regions to interpret Earth’s complexity
    • PHYSICAL SYSTEMS
      Physical processes shape Earth’s surface and interact with plant and animal life to create, sustain, and modify ecosystems. The geographically informed person knows and understands:
      • The physical processes that shape the patterns of Earth’s surface
      • The characteristics and spatial distribution of ecosystems on Earth’s surface
    • HUMAN SYSTEMS
      People are central to geography in that human activities help shape Earth’s surface, human settlements and structures are part of Earth’s surface, and humans compete for control of Earth’s surface. The geographically informed person knows and understands:
      • The characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth’s surface
      • The characteristics, distribution, and complexity of Earth’s cultural mosaics
    • ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIETY
      The physical environment is modified by human activities, largely as a consequence of the ways in which human societies value and use Earth’s natural resources, and human activities are also influenced by Earth’s physical features and processes. The geographically informed person knows and understands:
      • How human actions modify the physical environment
      • How physical systems affect human systems
      • The changes that occur in the meaning, use, distribution, and importance of resources
    • THE USES OF GEOGRAPHY
      Knowledge of geography enables people to develop an understanding of the relationships between people, places, and environments over time — that is, of Earth as it was, is, and might be. The geographically informed person knows and understands:
      • How to apply geography to interpret the present and plan for the future
  • Technology
    The International Society for Technology Education From http://www.iste.org and http://www.edtech.sandi.net/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_download&gid=349&Itemid=229
    • BASIC OPERATIONS AND CONCEPTS
      • Students demonstrate a sound understanding of the nature and operation of technology systems.
      • Students are proficient in the use of technology.
    • SOCIAL, ETHICAL AND HUMAN ISSUES
      • Students practice responsible use of technology systems, information, and software.
      • Students develop positive attitudes toward technology uses that support lifelong learning, collaboration, personal pursuits, and productivity.
    • TECHNOLOGY PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS
      • Students use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity.
      • Students use productivity tools to collaborate in constructing technology-enhanced models, prepare publications, and produce other creative works.
    • TECHNOLOGY COMMUNICATION TOOLS
      • Students use telecommunications to collaborate, publish, and interact with peers, experts, and other audiences.
      • Students use a variety of media and formats to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences.
    • TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH TOOLS
      • Students use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources.
      • Students use technology tools to process data and report results.
      • Students evaluate and select new information resources and technological innovations based on the appropriateness for specific tasks.
    • TECHNOLOGY PROBLEM- SOLVING AND DECISION-MAKING TOOLS
      • Students use technology resources for solving problems and making informed decisions.
      • Students employ technology in the development of strategies for solving problems in the real world.
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