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SMD Forum - Primary:
Earth Science  
Instructional Strategies:
Brainstorming  
Nonlinguistic representations  
Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours  
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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... (View More)

In this introduction to contrails, students explore both the origin and the three types of contrails. An indoor activity using tempera paint precedes outdoor observations and analyses of actual contrails. This is the 2nd of 3 sets of learning... (View More)

Keywords: Clouds

In this activity, students will record a list of things they already know about hummingbirds and a list of things they would like to learn about hummingbirds. Then they will conduct research to find answers to their questions. Using their new... (View More)

Using a color chart, students will make observations outside during each of the four seasons. During each session, they will try to find as many colors as possible and record what they see. As a class they will make charts describing the colors they... (View More)

Keywords: Seasons

Each student will explore three activities that promote understanding of and respect for soil. They will generate responses to the following questions: "What makes up soil?" and "What lives in the soil?" Next the students will watch a demonstration... (View More)

Keywords: Soil

In this activity, students observe and sketch clouds, describing their forms. They will initially generate descriptions of a personal nature and then move toward building a more scientific vocabulary. They correlate their descriptions with the... (View More)

This inquiry activity supports student understanding of the cause of light, heat and shadow, how to measure the passage of time, and how to use rules and other measuring tools. Students make observations using shadows, a meter stick, and a homemade... (View More)

Keywords: Angle; Sphere; Model

Students will "digitize" photographs of human faces using various grid sizes and shades of gray. Through this activity, they gain an understanding of image resolution and how much information is needed to answer various questions.This introductory... (View More)

Students critically interpret graphical data and evaluate and discuss the difficulties inherent in interpreting and forecasting long and short term trends in this introductory climate change investigation. Graphs of data needed for this exercise are... (View More)

In this investigation students explore how resolution affects information content on remotely sensed images, relate remote sensor resolution (pixel size) to information content, and gain an understanding of the information content of different kinds... (View More)

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