Lesson Plan Sequence and Unit structure Co-designed by Kelly Lamey and Molly Romanz
Website Created by Kelly Lamey Featuring Lesson Plans by Molly Romanz
Unit Overview This website gives a comprehensive look at an Environmental Science unit aimed for the use at the middle school level, specifically 7th or 8th grade. However, some modifications could be made to accommodate use at the 6th grade level. I have entitled the unit "Climate Zones & Climate Change" because it educates students about the difference between weather and climate, five of the main climate zones found on Earth, the Greenhouse Effect and Climate Change. This unit is the perfect introduction to the basics of Environmental Science for middle school students as the activities are student focused including a myriad of inquiry-based, technology-based and demonstration lessons. Students are given opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge in creative ways. With several formative and summative assessments embedded within the curriculum, this unit allows students to give evidence of their understanding on several levels including recall of information, application of information and analysis of information. Included in this unit are also plans to address other key components including how differentiation will be addressed for ELL and other types of learners, literacy strategies, how assessment will be approached and a classroom management plan. These components aid the flow of the unit to optimize student learning. Students will come away from this unit with a developed understanding of what is important about climate. Meaningful learning opportunities will be offered for students as they will learn about their role in Climate Change and why it is an important topic to discuss in science. Students will also develop their scientific thought processes and skills by thinking critically about scientific models, collecting data and collaborating in groups. Below is a link to the concept map outlining this unit, a visual representation of how the lesson sequence relates to the overall topic of the unit.
Standards Addressed Global patterns of atmospheric movement influence local weather. National Science Education Standards: Observe, Interact, Change, Learn. Washington, DC: National Academy, 1996. 160. Print
Global climate is determined by energy transfer from the sun at and near the earth's surface. This energy transfer is influenced by dynamic processes such as cloud cover and the earth's rotation, and static conditions such as the position of mountain ranges and oceans. National Science Education Standards: Observe, Interact, Change, Learn. Washington, DC: National Academy, 1996. 189. Print
Weather and climate are influenced by interactions involving sunlight, the ocean, the atmosphere, ice, landforms, and living things. These interactions vary with latitude, altitude and local and regional geography, all which can affect oceanic and atmospheric flow patterns. Because these patterns are so complex, weather can be predicted only probabilistically. A Framework for K-12 Science Education, ESS2.D: Weather and Climate, Grade 8 Endpoint.
Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere absorb and retain the energy radiated from land and ocean surfaces, there by regulating Earth’s average surface temperature and keeping it habitable. A Framework for K-12 Science Education, ESS2.D: Global Climate Change, Grade 8 Endpoint.
Human activities, such as the release of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in global warming. Reducing the level of climate change and reducing human vulnerability to whatever climate changes do occur depend on the understanding of climate science, engineering capabilities, and other kinds of knowledge, such as understanding of human behavior and on applying that knowledge wisely in decisions and activities. A Framework for K-12 Science Education, ESS.3D: Global Climate Change, Grade 8 Endpoint.
Interpret and represent results of analysis to produce findings. Illinois State Board of Education Inquiry Standards; 11.A.3f
Overarching Unit Learning Objectives 1. Identify the five different climate zones and their locations in the world 2. Recall and explain the variables that make climate zones different around the world 3. Explain the natural Greenhouse Effect. 4. Differentiate between the natural and human enhanced Greenhouse Effects. 5. Apply knowledge of the Greenhouse Effect to explain Climate Change.