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WeatherVersusClimate

Overview:

In this activity, students will learn the difference between weather and climate and explore climates to determine which one they live in.

Levels

III-IV

Objectives:

The student will: · understandthedifferencebetweenweatherandclimate; · readaclimatezonemap; · usetheInternettoperformresearch; · presentfindingstoagroup;and · understandthedifferencesbetweenthe5majorclimatezones.

Grades5-8

Materials:

· TRANSPARENCY:"ClimateMap" (Download from the Classroom Lessons page of http://www.ArcticClimateModeling.org) · STUDENTINFORMATIONSHEET:"WeatherVersusClimate" · STUDENTWORKSHEET:"WorldClimates"

ActivityPreparation:

1. 2. Printoutthepreviousday'sweatherreportfromtheInternetorcopyitfromthenewspaper.Providea copy for each student or make into a transparency so all students can view at once. Gotohttp://climate.gi.alaska.edu/Climate/Normals/index.htmlandprintouttheclimatenormalsfor yourcommunity,orthecommunitynearestyourlocation.Makeonecopyforeachstudentorgroupof students.

ActivityProcedure:

1. 2. Askstudentstoexaminetheweatherreport.Whatdoesitsaythetemperaturewasyesterday?Didit rainorsnow?Orwasitclearout?Explainthatthosethingstelluswhattheweatherwas. Explainthatclimateistheaverageweatherinalocationoveralongperiodoftime(30yearsormore). It takes many years of observation to determine the climate of an area. For example, if one only lookedattheweatherinAlaskaforoneweekinJune,theymightthinkitwaswarmallyearround. However,whenonelooksattheweatherforthewholeyear,theydiscoverthatmostoftheyearis cold.Evenfromyeartoyeartheweathercanvary.Sometimesoneyeariswarmerthananother.If oneonlylookedattheweatherdataforthatyear,theymaynotgetanaccuratepictureoftheclimate of the area. Note: When scientists do experiments, it's important that they examine normals to determine if their results are realistic. AskstudentsiftheyhaveevertraveledoutofAlaska.Wheredidtheygo?Whatwastheweather there?Whatistheclimatethere?ShowTRANSPARENCY:"ClimateMap,"andpointouthowdifferentlocationsinNorthAmericahavedifferentclimates. AskstudentstothinkabouthowlifewouldbedifferentinAlaskaiftheclimateweredifferent.How woulditaffectthefoodpeopleeat?Howwoulditaffectculturalactivities?HowwouldAlaskansdress differently?

B-1 WeatherVersusClimate

3.

4.

ACMP©2006-2008UAFGeophysicalInstitute

5.

Explainthatthemajorfactorsthatdeterminetheclimateofaparticularregionarethetemperature andprecipitation(theamountofrainfallorsnowfall).Therearefivebasictypesofclimate:tropical, dry,temperate,cold,andpolar.Withinthesetypes,therearemorespecificclimates.Note: There are several classification systems, which use different names or more or less distinctions. The five types listed here represent the first hierarchy of the Koppen Climate Classification system. Dividethestudentsinto5groups.HandouttheSTUDENTWORKSHEET:"WorldClimates."Assign eachgroupaclimatetoinvestigate.Studentswillfillouttheworksheetandthenpresenttheirfindings to the class.

6.

Answers:

Answers will vary depending on the climate being investigated.

ACMP©2006-2008UAFGeophysicalInstitute

B-2

WeatherVersusClimate

Name:____________________________________

Levels

WorldClimates StudentWorksheet

Directions: Aloneorinasmallgroup,completethefollowingquestionsandactivities. Theteacherwillassigneachstudentorgroupaclimatetoresearch.At theendoftheclassperiod,theteacherwillrequireapresentationonthe followingmaterial.

III-IV

Use the Internet to locate the answers to the questions below. Thefollowingsitesarerecommended: · http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/climate.htm · http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_zone

I am investigating the _____________ climate.

1.Theaverageminimumrainfallforthisclimateis_________inches. 2.Theaveragemaximumrainfallforthisclimateis_________inches. 3.Theaverageminimumtemperatureforthisclimateis_________degreesF. 4.Theaveragemaximumtemperatureforthisclimateis_________degreesF. 5.Whattypesofplantsandanimalsarefoundinthisclimate?

6.Findandprintoutapictureofyourclimatetosharewiththeclassduringyourpresentation. Use the Internet or the STUDENT INFORMATION SHEET to answer the following. 7.Thisclimateislocatedinwhichcountries?

ACMP©2006-2008UAFGeophysicalInstitute

B-3

WeatherVersusClimate

Name:____________________________________

Levels

WeatherVersusClimate

Koppen Climate Classification System North America

III-IV

StudentInformationSheet

ACMP©2006-2008UAFGeophysicalInstitute

B-4

WeatherVersusClimate

Information

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