This module introduces young students to weather, climate, and sea level rise through an illustrated book, hands-on experiments and activities, and coloring pages.
There are a number of great teaching tips provided for the activities to help students apply their knowledge, predict outcomes, and learn about the impacts of climate change in a dynamic and fun way.
This module includes many fun, hands-on activities and an engaging picture book that introduces many weather and climate topics.
The book is available in several formats and languages, and there are plenty of usage tips on the introductory page.
Some of the classroom activities require materials such as interlocking cubes (like those used in elementary math classes), wooden blocks, a thermometer, glue sticks, a camera, photos of coastal areas, clear plastic or glass containers, play dough, sand, pebbles, food coloring, measuring cups, and pennies.
Younger students may only be able to complete portions of the module, so review all of the materials to select the sections or activities that will suit your students.
This module would work best in the order it is presented on the module homepage, with the coloring pages used as needed anywhere in the unit.
One thought-provoking quote from the book that could be posted in the classroom is "Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get." Encourage students to post their reflections and ideas surrounding this concept.
For older elementary students, consider using the classroom activities as stations in the classroom for students to rotate through.
As an extension, create a weather tracking station in your classroom for students to track weather conditions for the remainder of the school year and then have them compare their recorded conditions to the averages.
This resource from the GLOBE Program is a full module designed for teaching students in grades K-4 about climate change. An excellent story book follows young student scientists as they travel from their home in Boston to Greenland and then to the Maldives, learning about the difference between weather and climate and making their own observations at each stop, before returning to school where they participate in a virtual science fair. The website and end of the book feature great teacher resources and notes to help educators guide students through this module. Three activities empower students to better understand weather and the climate, focusing on year-long observations and cause and effect in the global system. This module introduces students to important terms, describes how everyone can take action to mitigate climate change, and even includes some fun coloring pages. This resource is recommended for teaching.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
ESS2: Earth's Systems
2-ESS2-1 Compare multiple solutions designed to slow or prevent wind or water from changing the shape of the land.
3-ESS2-2 Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world.
K-ESS2-1 Use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time.
ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
K-ESS3-2 Ask questions to obtain information about the purpose of weather forecasting to prepare for, and respond to, severe weather.
K-ESS3-3 Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment.
4-ESS3-1 Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and that their uses affect the environment.
Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.1.6 Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using frequently occurring conjunctions to signal simple relationships (e.g., because).
Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.1.1 Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.1.2 Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.1.7 Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.7 Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).
World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages (ACTFL)
Communication: Communicate effectively in more than one language in order to function in a variety of situations and for multiple purposes.
1.2 Interpretive Communication: Learners understand,interpret, and analyze what is heard, read, or viewed on a variety of topics.