Earth Science Learning Community

Lesson 3 - Modeling Earth's Climate

Lesson Plan

earth from space

State Standards:

Energy resources in the Earth System, specifically the effects on the environment of using non-renewable sources of energy.

Essential Question:

Is the climate of the Earth changing?

Lesson Question:

Is the climate of the Earth changing?

Introduction:

Is the climate of the Earth changing? This is the focus of our investigation today. You will have the opportunity to work with real data from climate change scientists to answer this critical question about the future of the Earths' climate and its impact on the human race.

Task:

Our goal will be to formulate and defend a credible position on climate change. To do that, you will examine information on climate change and develop your position.

air pollution

Lesson Experiences

Elicit: Many people have the idea: "Global Warming isn't real."

Is this a misconception?

What are your opinions about climate change?

This can be a class discussion or you may write note cards if speaking in class is an issue.

Engage: Watch video clip from "Inconvenient Truth.” The trailer for the movie on YouTube is a good choice if you are pressed for time.

Trailer, Inconvenient Truth


Explore: What can you learn about the earth and climate change?



Explain: Using the simulation, run different scenarios by adjusting the variables according to your understanding of what is happening to the Earth's climate. Observe what happens during the simulation. Does the simulations match your hypothesis?

Adjust your hypothesis to accurately reflect what happened during the simulations.

Report findings and discoveries to the class.

Elaborate: Apply the newly learned concepts to new contexts. What other simulations can you find on the internet to explore and model climate change?

Evaluate: Go to Quizlet. Create a minimum of 5 flashcards that demonstrate your understanding of at least two factors forcing climate change.

Extend: If you have time read The Ferrari with the Dragon Tattoo.

Write a one page critical analysis of how a growing Chinese consumer culture will impact the climate.


Conclusion:

Is the climate of the Earth changing?

This was the focus of our investigation. You had the opportunity to work with real data from climate change scientists to answer this critical question about the future of the Earths' climate and its impact on the human race. You now have some understanding of how complex the science of climate change is.

Hopefully you feel comfortable discussing and defending you position on climate change, whether you believe in climate change or not.

Assessments:

Criteria

4 ("100")

Exceeds Expectations

3 ("75")

Meets Expectations

2 ("50")

Approaches Expectations

1 ("25")

Warning

Research The student demonstrates a clear and comprehensive understanding of the issue. The student generally understands the issue. The student demonstrates some understanding of the issue. The student is unable to understand the issue.
Organization The student clearly connects ideas and structures them in a logical manner. The student connects ideas and structures them sufficiently. The student attempts to connect ideas and provide structure. The student is unable to connect ideas or structure logically.
Content The student cites four or more substantial environmental issues driven by the use of non-renewableenergy sources. The student cites three substantial environmental issues driven by the use of non-renewable energy The student cites two substantial environmental issues driven by the use of non-renewable energy The student does not cite environmental issues driven by the use of non-renewable energy

 

Resources:

Laptops and internet connection to access the following web resources:

Concord Consortium Modelling Earth's Climate
http://www.concord.org/activities/modeling-earths-climate

Quizlet
http://quizlet.com/create_set/

"Ferrari with the Dragon Tattoo" -- Wall Street Journal online
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304050304577378032548853036.html

Teacher Notes:

The Ferrari with the Dragon Tatoo is a
differentiated assignment for higher achieving students. This requires reading and writing a one page critical analysis of how a growing Chinese consumer culture will impact the climate.

Image Credits:

Air Pollution, from From the National Parks Service [http://www2.nature.nps.gov/air/pubs/Core_Slides/sources.htm source] {{PD-USGov}}, Wikimedia Commons

Earth from Space.

Image created by Reto Stöckli, Nazmi El Saleous, and Marit Jentoft-Nilsen, NASA GSFC

From the National Parks Service [http://www2.nature.nps.gov/air/pubs/Core_Slides/sources.htm source] {{PD-USGov}}

This true-color image shows North and South America as they would appear from space 35,000 km (22,000 miles) above the Earth. The image is a combination of data from two satellites. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument aboard NASA's Terra satellite collected the land surface data over 16 days, while NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) produced a snapshot of the Earth's clouds.