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Every Kid in the Park
Created by Dorian Janney Last updated 8/27/2016
These are some activities that would be appropriate for fourth graders and their families.
- This is a series of ten lesson plans. Although they were designed for teachers to use with students, they could be easily integrated into outdoor environmental education programs, Girl/Boy Scouts, afterschool programs, etc... They were initially designed to be used in the MCPS Outdoor Environmental Education Programs with sixth grade students, but are easily accessible by fourth grade students.
- This toolkit was designed to help presenters - park interpreters, afterschool program providers, etc. - easily present to elementary and middle school audiences and feel confident that the information they are presenting is developmentally-appropriate
- This resource identifies best practices for giving presentations or talks to elementary level kids. It provides helpful suggestions before, during, and after the presentation, as well questions for the teacher (e.g., what content do you want me to cover, what have students already learned about this content?).
- Fresh water resources- their quantity, location and distribution- are briefly discussed in this two-page article. The article can be used as a "reading to be informed" activity in a stand-alone fashion or can be incorporated into a lesson plan.AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/M8
- The basic chemistry of water, along with a brief glimpse into water's origin on Earth, are discussed in this two page article. The article can be used as a "reading to be informed" activity in a stand-alone fashion or can be incorporated into a lesson plan.
- This is an interactive online "scavenger hunt" in which kids build their understanding of weather and climate concepts by exploring several websites and online videos and completing a related worksheet. They will examine NASA's role in both gathering weather and climate data and monitoring the changes to each that are occurring globally. A link to each specific site, as well as the student worksheet, are included.
- In this activity, students face an engineering challenge based on real-world applications. They are tasked with developing a tool they can use to measure the amount of rain that falls each day. Students will find out why freshwater is important, learn about the water cycle, and the need to have a standard form of calibration for measurement tools. They will learn that keeping track of precipitation is important, and learn a little bit about how NASA's GPM satellite measures precipitation from space. This lesson uses the 5-E instructional model.
- This in an online "scavenger hunt" in which kids are introduced to the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite mission and its role in studying the water cycle. This webquest provides links to eight websites, allowing middle school students to explore the water cycle and its impacts on Earth's weather and climate. Through online videos and articles, students follow a water molecule through the cycle, discover the connection between the water cycle and global water/heat distribution, examine the role of solar energy, and assess the importance of fresh water.
- Students will be introduced to the causes, locations, and hazards of landslides, as well as the role of satellite observations in predicting and studying them. To begin, students investigate the amount of precipitation sufficient to cause a landslide in two different mediums (soil and sand), then use their findings in follow-up activities. After the lab, students will think about how rain information can be collected, especially via satellites, to model where landslides will occur. Finally, students will look at areas currently at risk of landslides and research landslide hazards and how to prepare for a landslide event, and create a public service announcement sharing that information. This lesson uses the 5E instructional model. All background information, student worksheets and images/photographs/data are included in these downloadable sections: Teacher’s Guide, Student Capture Sheet and Lab Instructions and PowerPoint Presentation
- The total amount of water on Earth, the places in which it is found and the percentages of fresh vs. salt are examined in this lesson. A short demonstration allows students to visualize the percentage differences and a coloring exercise illustrates locations. This lesson uses the 5E instructional model. All background information, student worksheets and images/photographs/data are included in these downloadable sections: Teacher's Guide, Student Capture Sheet and PowerPoint Presentation.AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/M7
- n this lesson students use climatograms from different U.S. locations to observe patterns in temperature and precipitation. After describing geographical features near these locations, they will use graphs to compare and find patterns in the effects that mountains, oceans, elevation, and latitude have on temperature and precipitation. A research activity will then ask students to gather information on temperature and precipitation patterns around the world using the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server and other sources, with the goal of creating their own climatogram. This lesson uses the 5E instructional model.
- Students work in groups to investigate one of the following factors driving climate change: greenhouse gases, sea level rise and melting sea ice. The investigation involves conducting an experiment, connecting to real-world data and presenting a poster summary of their findings. The lesson includes experiment procedures (with pictures), a rubric for poster evaluation, a Powerpoint presentation (incorporating NASA videos), extensions, and additional resources.
- Students will explore how energy from the sun is absorbed, reflected and radiated back into space by Earth. By completing three short labs investigating the effects of surface color, type of material, or cloud cover on temperature change, students will begin to consider how various surfaces might affect Earth's overall temperature. Earth's energy budget will then be explored through a video, simulation activity, and an interactive animation. This lesson uses the 5E instructional model. All background information, student worksheets and images/photographs/data are included in these downloadable sections: Teacher’s Guide, Student Capture Sheet, PowerPoint Presentation and three lab sheets.
- Students will use NASA's Global Climate Change website to research five of the key indicators (vital signs) of Earth’s climate health. These indicators are: global surface temperature, carbon dioxide concentrations, sea level, Arctic sea ice, and land ice. They will use this information, shared in their expert groups, to create an informative poster about their assigned key indicator. The poster will be used by other groups to learn about all five of the key indicators and how Earth scientists use these indicators to analyze changes in Earth’s climate. The lesson plan uses the 5E instructional sequence.AAAS Benchmarks: MS-ESS3-5,