Atmosphere Learning Progression 6-8

Created by Tina R Harte Last updated 5/9/2017

Lessons and Activities that align with the GLOBE Atmosphere Protocols, NGSS, and GLOBE Learning activities for the K-2 Mission Earth Atmosphere Learning Progression.

  • Weather and Climate

    This background chapter reviews the basic principles of meteorology that educators need to guide inquiry activities in the classroom. Topics include structure of the atmosphere, Coriolis effect, water cycle, greenhouse effect, cyclones, anticyclones, and jet streams. This is chapter 2 of Meteorology: An Educator's Resource for Inquiry-Based Learning for Grades 5-9. The guide includes a discussion of learning science, the use of inquiry in the classroom, instructions for making simple weather instruments, and more than 20 weather investigations ranging from teacher-centered to guided and open inquiry investigations.
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/E5
  • Learning to Use Visualizations

    In this activity, students work in teams to calculate relative air mass and demonstrate how solar elevation angle affects the intensity of light that reaches an observer on the ground. The resource includes a student data sheet. This learning resource is part of the Atmosphere chapter of the GLOBE Teacher's Guide, and is supported by the GLOBE Aerosol protocol. GLOBE (Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment) is a worldwide, hands-on, K-12 school-based science education program.
    AAAS Benchmarks: 9A/M8
  • Draw Your Own Visualization

    Students learn to identify and communicate important patterns in a dataset by drawing a visualization, and begin to interpret those patterns. Resource includes a student data sheet and scoring rubric. This learning resource is part of the Atmosphere chapter of the GLOBE Teacher's Guide, and is supported by the GLOBE Aerosol protocols. GLOBE (Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment) is a worldwide, hands-on, K-12 school-based science education program.
    AAAS Benchmarks: 12D/M2, 12D/M9, 9B/H4
  • Calculating Relative Air Mass

    n this activity, students work in teams to calculate relative air mass and demonstrate how solar elevation angle affects the intensity of light that reaches an observer on the ground. The resource includes a student data sheet. It is part of the Atmosphere chapter of the GLOBE Teacher's Guide, and is supported by the GLOBE Aerosol protocol. GLOBE (Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment) is a worldwide, hands-on, K-12 school-based science education program
    AAAS Benchmarks: 9C/M9, 9C/H1
  • Making a Contour Map

    In this activity, students plot data from GLOBE schools on a map with latitude and longitude lines and draw contours based on the values plotted. The resource includes a student worksheet and data table. Several suggestions for extensions of this activity using different types of data sets are included. This learning resource is part of the Atmosphere chapter of the GLOBE Teacher's Guide. GLOBE
    AAAS Benchmarks: 12D/M5, 12D/H1, 9C/M3
  • Global Change Primer

    This introductory chapter for educators provides background information to support classroom investigations of global climate change. Topics addressed include the structure and composition of the atmosphere, General Circulation Models (GCMs), 2xCO2 scenarios, uncertainty, and human impacts. The primer is part of the Ground Truth Studies Teacher Handbook, which provides more than 20 activities to build student understanding of global change and remote sensing, and includes background chapters for teachers, glossary, and appendices.
    AAAS Benchmarks: 3C/H4, 4C/M8, 3A/M2
  • Introduction: Earth System Science

    This chapter provides an overview of the science of studying the Earth system, with a focus on understanding the connections among phenomena that can be traced through the energy, hydrological and biogeochemical cycles, on a range of time and spatial scales. A section on seasonal cycles deepens student understanding of environmental data collected using GLOBE protocols. GLOBE field protocols and learning activities connected to this chapter are found in the Earth system science section of the GLOBE Teacher's Guide.
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/M7, 11C/M6, 4B/M12
  • Barometer Basics

    This experimental activity is designed to develop a basic understanding of the interrelationship between temperature and pressure and the structure of a device made to examine this relationship. Resources needed to conduct this activity include two canning jars, two large rubber balloons, a heat lamp or lamp with 150 watt bulb, and access to freezer or water and ice. The resource includes background information, teaching tips and questions to guide student discussion. This is chapter 5 of Meteorology: An Educator's Resource for Inquiry-Based Learning for Grades 5-9. The guide includes a discussion of learning science, the use of inquiry in the classroom, instructions for making simple weather instruments, and more than 20 weather investigations ranging from teacher-centered to guided and open inquiry investigations.
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/E4
  • Constructing a Barometer

    This experimental activity is designed to develop a basic understanding of the relationship between temperature and pressure and that a barometer can be constructed to detect this relationship. Resources needed to build a simple barometer include a canning jar with metal lid ring, large balloon, a block of wood, ruler, a nail, wood glue, hammer and a screwdriver. The resource includes background information, teaching tips and questions to guide student discussion. This is chapter 6 of Meteorology: An Educator's Resource for Inquiry-Based Learning for Grades 5-9. The guide includes a discussion of learning science, the use of inquiry in the classroom, instructions for making simple weather instruments, and more than 20 weather investigations ranging from teacher-centered to guided and open inquiry investigations
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/E4
  • Predicting Weather by Connecting the Basic Cloud Types with Information Collected from the Weather Station

    n this activity, students are challenged to predict the next day's weather based on cloud observations, prevailing winds, and barometric measurements over a period of several days. The activity can be done as guided or open-ended inquiry and serves as an authentic assessment to conclude a unit on weather. Resources needed to conduct this activity include weather instruments, some of which can be constructed from household materials. The resource includes background information, a pre-activity inquiry exploration for students, teaching tips and questions to guide student discussion. This is chapter 16 of Meteorology: An Educator's Resource for Inquiry-Based Learning for Grades 5-9. The guide includes a discussion of learning science, the use of inquiry in the classroom, instructions for making simple weather instruments, and more than 20 weather investigations ranging from teacher-centered to guided and open inquiry investigations.
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/E5
  • Bringing More Meaning to Weather Predicting: The Weather Station and Reading the Sky Help Put it All Together

    This chapter provides teachers with instructions to install a school weather station, and to build simple instruments to monitor weather conditions. Materials need to create a homemade weathervane include a two-liter soft drink bottle, a shallow metal pie pan, a plastic drinking straw, and a compass. Building an anemometer requires plastic cups, soda straws, a pencil with an unused new eraser on the end, a paper punch, and a thumbtack. Thermometers and a rain gauge must be purchased. A data table is included for estimating windspeed using the anemometer. The chapter includes research ideas that allow students to validate their instruments and test the predictive capability of resources such as the Farmer's Almanac. This resource is chapter 15 of Meteorology: An Educator's Resource for Inquiry-Based Learning for Grades 5-9. The resource includes background information, teaching tips and questions to guide student discussion. This is chapter 15 of Meteorology: An Educator's Resource for Inquiry-Based Learning for Grades 5-9. The guide includes a discussion of learning science, the use of inquiry in the classroom, instructions for making simple weather instruments, and more than 20 weather investigations ranging from teacher-centered to guided and open inquiry investigations.
    AAAS Benchmarks: 1B/M1b
  • Space Math X

    This collection of math problems is based on a weekly series of space and Earth science problems distributed to teachers during the 2013-2014 school year. The problems were intended for students looking for additional challenges in the math and physical science curriculum and were created to be authentic glimpses of modern science and engineering issues, often involving actual research data. Includes information for teachers and answer key
  • Atmosphere Chapter-Cloud Watch

    tudents observe cloud type and coverage and weather conditions over a five-day period and correlate these observations. Students make and test predictions using these observations. This is a learning activity associated with the Atmosphere chapter of the GLOBE Teacher Guide, and is supported by field protocols for study of the atmosphere.
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/E5
  • Observing Visibility and Sky Color

    Students become aware of the changes in visibility and sky color due to particles suspended in the air, called aerosols. They observe, document and classify changes in visibility and sky color over several days and understand the relationship between sky color, visibility and aerosols in the atmosphere. A student data sheet is included in the activity. This learning resource is part of the Atmosphere chapter of the GLOBE Teacher's Guide, and is supported by the GLOBE Aerosol protocol. GLOBE (Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment) is a worldwide, hands-on, K-12 school-based science education program.
  • Studying the Instrument Shelter

    In this project, students construct shelters that have varying properties and place them in the same location, or place similar shelters in different locations and compare temperature data taken in each shelter. Students predict what will happen for each of the different shelter designs or placements and perform the steps of student research. The resource includes a student worksheet. This learning resource is part of the Atmosphere chapter of the GLOBE Teacher’s Guide, and is supported by the GLOBE atmosphere protocols.
    AAAS Benchmarks: 1B/M2ab, 3A/E3, 12C/M3, 1B/H3
  • Building a Thermometer

    In this learning activity, students will construct a soda-bottle thermometer, which is similar to the thermometer used by GLOBE schools. Both are based on the principle that most substances expand and contract as their temperature changes. This experiment also demonstrates the principle of heat transfer. The resource includes an activity and data sheet for student use. This resource is in the Atmosphere chapter of the GLOBE Teacher's Guide, and is supported by GLOBE atmosphere field protocols.
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4D/M3ab
  • GLOBE: Cloud Type Practice

    his interactive, web-based tool asks a series of questions to help the learner narrow down the type of cloud they are observing. It can be used both for practice and in the field to identify clouds. This resource is part of The GLOBE Program Atmosphere Protocol eTraining for Clouds.
  • How Clouds Form-Understanding the Basic Principles of Precipitation

    The purpose of this investigation is to understand the change that takes place when water condenses from a gas to a liquid, and how a change in pressure affects this transformation. Materials needed for the experiment include a large (2L) soda bottle, a squeeze bottle with a plastic hose, parking pens, construction paper, wooden matches, and tap water. The resource includes background information, a pre-activity exploration for students, teaching tips and questions to guide student discussion. This is the chapter 12 of Meteorology: An Educator's Resource for Inquiry-Based Learning for Grades 5-9. The guide includes a discussion of learning science, the use of inquiry in the classroom, instructions for making simple weather instruments, and more than 20 weather investigations ranging from teacher-centered to guided and open inquiry investigations.
    AAAS Benchmarks: 4B/E3