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Topic(s):

Atmosphere, Elementary (K-4)

 

Scenario:

Air


I breath you in. I blow you out.
But what is air all about?

Thunderstorms can be so strange.
How does air make weather change?

Dirty, smelly, not like fog.
How does air turn into smog?

See the birds way up high.
Little clouds floating by.
Cool and breezy in my hair.
Gee, I sure do like this air.


In this module you will explore and learn about the air, the atmosphere, and its connections to other Earth spheres. The atmosphere contains all the air in Earth's system.

Essential Questions about Air

What do you know about air? What are your key questions? As you do the investigations, think about questions like these:
  • How do you study air?
  • How does air change?
  • What causes air to change?
  • How does water exist in air?
  • How does air help living things?
  • What do you know about weather?

 

Date: 7/25/2007

Scenario Images:

Kids with Balloons
Image: clipart.com



Clouds on Wind
Image: clipart.com



Thunderhead
Image: clipart.com



Resources:

 

Additional Resources (Cycle A)
Additional resources are included in the sample investigations.

 

Air Sample Investigations Materials Lists (Cycle A)
A complete listing of all the Air investigations, materials needed, and ordering information.

 

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

  • Visit an Earth Science Museum. Use the elevator to explore the different floors and learn about Earth's systems, cycles, dinosaurs and more. For kids and teachers.
  • K-4 Earth Science Modules. Four online modules for K-4 students and teachers that include information, games and hands-on investigations exploring biomes, weather and climate, remote sensing and Earth's systems.

 

Student Resources (Cycle A)


  • Environmental Kids Club Great for kids and teachers. All about the environment and things you can do to protect our planet.
  • Weather Wiz Kids All things weather for kids and teachers.
  • Windows to the Universe for information about Earth and Space science. Great site for teachers, students and parents.
  • Globe Earth Science information and age appropriate resources.

 

Teacher Resources (Cycle A)


  • Environmental Kids Club Great for kids and teachers. All about the environment and things you can do to protect our planet.
  • Weather Wiz Kids All things weather for kids and teachers.
  • The Atmosphere Images and definitions of Atmosphere, Biosphere, Geosphere, Hydrosphere and Anthrosphere.
  • How Weather Works USA Today's weather site. Click on Weather Basics to access a glossary of terms related to weather phenomena such as air density, air masses, clouds, fog and wind.
  • Windows to the Universe for information about Earth and Space science. Great site for teachers, students and parents.
  • Globe Earth Science information and age appropriate resources.

 

Student Resources (Cycle B)


  • Environmental Kids Club Great for kids and teachers. All about the environment and things you can do to protect our planet.
  • Weather in Our Lives Create a weather-based newspaper. Click on "Sample Activities" and then "Activities from Wright State University" for a list of other Earth System Science lesson plans and activities.
  • Kids Crossing Kids Site for information about Cycles; Carbon, Rock, Energy, etc. Has information about climate and climate change.
  • EPA Climate Change Kids Page Exploration and explanation of carbon cycle on land in water.

 

Teacher Resources (Cycle B)


  • Why Cloudy Nights Tend to be Warmer Provides a clear and concise explanation of how clouds affect temperature.
  • Basic Cloud Forms A collection of cloud descriptions taken near Plymouth, New Hampshire by the Plymouth State College Meteorology Program.
  • Weather in Our Lives Create a weather-based newspaper with your students. Click on "Sample Activities" and then "Activities from Wright State University" for a list of other Earth System Science lesson plans and activities.
  • Bad Meteorology Addresses common misconceptions about clouds, rain and other weather-related concepts
  • Earth's Fidgeting Climate Article on global warming.
  • Ozone: Good Up High Bad Nearby Ground-level vs. stratospheric ozone information.
  • Ozone Layer Assessment Report 2006 International scientific assessment of ozone depletion. Select 2006 Assessment to access executive summary of the most recent report.
  • Kids Crossing Kids Site for information about Cycles; Carbon, Rock, Energy, etc. Has information about climate and climate change.
  • EPA Climate Change Kids Page Exploration and explanation of carbon cycle on land in water.

 

Digital Library for Earth System Science (Cycle C)
The ultimate resource for Earth Science lesson plans, investigations and publications.

 

Student Resources (Cycle C)


  • Welcome to Nye Labs Online Requires Flash. Select Episode Guides, Planetary Science, Earth Science, and scroll to Episode Guides on Atmosphere, Erosion and Wind.

 

Teacher Resources (Cycle C)


  • Welcome to Nye Labs Online Requires Flash. Select Episode Guides, Planetary Science, Earth Science, and scroll to Episode Guides on Atmosphere, Erosion and Wind.
  • The Wind Inquiry activities from The Franklin Institute begin with examples of how the wind is the friend that makes kites fly and wind chimes sing, but it is also the fierce force behind hurricanes and thunderstorms. Activities include: Blustery Beginnings, Investigating Wind Energy and Current Creations.

 

Sample Investigations:

 

Air Is Something Special and It Is Real! (Cycle A)
Air, you know it's there, but how?
Air is Real
Difficulty: beginner

 

Air: Is There Water in There? (Cycle A)
How did that water get on the outside of your glass or on the grass? Do this investigation and see if you can figure it out.
Air: Is There Water in There?
Difficulty: beginner

 

Clouds: Up High and Nearby (Cycle A)
Study a cloud on the ground and look at the clouds in the sky. How did they get there? Do this investigation and try to find out.
Clouds: Up High and Nearby
Difficulty: beginner

 

Observing Clouds (Cycle A)
Can you see air? How does it change? Is there water in there?
Observing Clouds
Difficulty: beginner

 

Wind Effects (Cycle A)
Use pinwheels, paper airplanes, and watching clouds to learn about the wind.
Wind Effects
Difficulty: beginner

 

Air Questions (Cycle B)
Work with your teammates to answer each other's questions and these essential questions:

  • How can you study air?
  • How does air change?
  • What causes air to change?
  • How does water exist in air?
  • How does air help living things?
  • What do you know about weather?

Difficulty: beginner

 

Air Questions (Cycle C)
Design an investigation of your own that will help students ask and seek answers to questions like these:

  • How do you study air?
  • How does air change?
  • What causes air to change?
  • How does water exist in air?
  • How does air help living things?
  • What do you know about weather?

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.
    • GRADES K-4 CONTENT STANDARDS
      • Science as Inquiry (Std A)
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
        • Understanding about scientific inquiry
      • Earth and Space Science (Std D)
        • Properties of earth materials
        • Objects in the sky
        • Changes in earth and sky
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