Climate and Weather

  Grade 6

Climate and Weather Unit
PBL Unit Plan

Unit topic:  Climate and Weather                                    Grade level: 6th Grade (Science)
Duration of unit: 27, 1-hour periods                                Designers: Matt Goodchild
Problem or Project:

The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) has started a new documentary series that will investigate and show how climate change is already, and will continue to impact different countries around the world.  You have been hired as one of their crews to create a documentary about how Mexico will be affected by Earth’s changing climate. Following the completion of your documentaries, we will hold an in-class film festival where awards will be voted on and awarded for different categories.


Standards:

  • SC6.1.1 Knows the composition and structure of the Earth's atmosphere (e.g., temperature and pressure in different layers of the atmosphere, circulation of air masses)
  • SC6.1.2 Knows the processes involved in the water cycle (e.g., evaporation, condensation, precipitation, surface run-off, percolation) and their effects on climatic patterns
  • SC6.1.3 Knows that the Sun is the principle energy source for phenomena on the Earth's surface (e.g., winds, ocean currents, the water cycle, plant growth)
  • SC6.1.4 Knows how the tilt of the Earth's axis and the Earth's revolution around the Sun affect seasons and weather patterns (i.e., heat falls more intensely on one part or another of the Earth's surface during its revolution around the Sun)
  • SC6.1.5   Knows ways in which clouds affect weather and climate (e.g., precipitation, reflection of light from the Sun, retention of heat energy emitted from the Earth's surface) 

Student Friendly Standards:

  • SC6.1.1 Knows atmosphere has different layers and is made of different gases
  • SC6.1.2 Knows that water exists as a solid, liquid and gas, and it moves around the world in different ways.
  • SC6.1.3 Knows that the Sun provides energy that causes wind, ocean currents and the water cycle.
  • SC6.1.4 Knows that amount of Sun energy that Earth receives influences climate and weather.
  • SC6.1.5    Knows that clouds affect weather and climate.

Essential Questions:

1.    What factors contribute to Earth’s climate and weather?

2.    How do humans influence Earth’s climate, weather, air and water (and land)?

3.    How will Earth’s changing climate influence Mexico?
    Student “I Can” Statements:

Know
a.    I know the structure and composition of the Earth’s atmosphere and that the temperature changes as a result.

b.    I know that air pressure is different throughout the atmosphere, causing air masses to move and circulate. 

c.    I know that water exists in all three phases of matter (solid, liquid, gas) and that the Water Cycle describes water’s phase changes (evaporation, condensation, solidification, melting, deposition, sublimation).

d.    I know the Water Cycle describes how water moves as precipitation, surface run-off and percolation.

e.    I know the Water Cycle plays an important role in determining climate patterns.

f.    I know the Sun provides energy, causing wind, ocean currents and the water cycle.

g.    I know the tilt of the Earth’s axis and the Earth’s revolution around the sun change the amount of energy that parts of the planet receive throughout the year.

h.    I know that the tilt of the Earth’s axis and the Earth’s revolution around the sun are responsible for causing the seasons and affects weather and climate patterns.

i.    I know that clouds affect weather and climate by reflecting sunlight, through precipitation and by reflecting heat from the Earth.

Understand
a.    I understand that humans are changing Earth’s atmosphere, and that human actions can have positive and negative consequences.

b.    I understand that humans are changing Earth’s Water Cycle through their actions, and that those actions can have positive and negative consequences.

c.    I understand that human actions are causing global climate to change and that climate changes will affect living things all over the world, including in Mexico.

d.    I understand that climate change is expected to change global weather and climate patterns, causing more extreme weather. 

Do
a.    I will choose a climate or weather issue affecting Mexico (present or future) that interests me.

b.    I will use different resources to research the issue I have chosen to the best of my availability.  I will document and cite my sources, and use reliable sources in my research.

c.    I will show what I have learned about my topic using a method of my choice, in a creative way.

d.    I will try and persuade others that the issue I have chosen is important and I will educate them about what they can do to help solve it.

e.    I will collaborate with my peers, share my ideas and listen respectfully to the ideas of others. 
Assessment Evidence
Project or Problem to Be Solved:  How will Earth’s changing climate affect Mexico, its economy and its people?

Attachments:
Student Project Description and Rubric
Climate Documentary Organizer

The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) has started a new documentary series that will investigate and show how climate change is already, and will continue to impact different countries around the world.  You have been hired as one of their crews to create a documentary about how Mexico will be affected by Earth’s changing climate. Following the completion of your documentaries, we will hold an in-class film festival where awards will be voted on and awarded for different categories.

Project Requirements:

Product(s):
Documentary Length: 10 minutes (minimum)
Preview: 30-60 second preview (optional)
Advertisement: A one-page (8x11 or 11x14) poster (optional)

Contents:

Geographic Location: A clear geographic region within Mexico (or somewhere else in the world IF approved by teacher)

Climate Change Issue(s): Choose a clear issue (or set of issues) expected to or already affecting your location 

Socio-economic Issue(s): A clear explanation of how the climate change issue will affect the people living in the selected region.  This can include one or many issues.

Persuasive Message: Your documentary must include a persuasive issue.  You must make it clear why climate change is (or isn’t) a serious issue and why others should (or should not) care.

Topics to Cover:

General climate and weather (science) questions to address in your documentary:
●    What is climate change and what is causing it?
●    How is the atmosphere changing?
●    How is the water cycle changing?
●    How are climate and weather expected to change over the next 50 years?

Location specific climate and weather questions to address in your documentary:
●    How are climate and weather expected to change in your location?
○    Will there be changes to the water cycle or in temperature?
●    Will changes affect the geography of the region?
○    How is the land and/or vegetation expected to change?
○    How will the living things be affected?
●    How will the people in the community be affected?
○    What are the major economic activities in the region?  Will they be affected?
○    Health?
○    Employment?
○    Place to live?
○    Costs to government?

Concluding and making it relevant (not all research based):
●    Why is this an important issue globally?
●    Why is this an important issue locally (for your location)?
●    What barriers are there to solving this problem?
●    What can humans do to stop this problem?
●    What will happen if we don’t?

Project Teams

Your documentary team will be made up of 4-6 people, each of whom will be responsible for different tasks. There are four different jobs and you will have to apply to the BBC for your job.  Remember that this is a team project and that each team member is expected to assist with all aspects of the project.  

Job Descriptions

1.    Director and Lead Interviewer: (1 student)

Research Focus: The director is the person primarily responsible for organizing the group and delegating tasks to other team members.  However, they are NOT the boss!  The director will help write the questions that the Scientists, Experts and Stakeholder will answer.  They will also assist with all aspects of the research, rehearsal and film production.
 
Film Focus:  The Director is responsible for interviewing Experts and Stakeholders in the film and if applicable, narrating the film. They are also responsible for working with the Videographer/Editor to put the film together.

2.    Lead Scientists/Climate Experts: (1-2 students)

Research Focus: The Lead Scientist and/or Climate Expert is responsible for researching and describing the climate issue chosen.  They must ensure all that all of the Scientific principles in the documentary are accurate, and that all of the required topics and questions have been answered proficiently.

Film Focus:  The Scientist/Expert will be interviewed throughout the film and provide Scientific information, where appropriate.

3.    Local Experts/Stakeholders: (1-2 students)

Research Focus: The Local Expert/Stakeholder is responsible for researching and describing the climate issue chosen.  They must ensure all that all of the Scientific principles in the documentary are accurate, and that all of the required topics and questions have been answered proficiently.

Film Focus:  Local expert/stakeholder will be interviewed throughout the film and provide local perspective, where appropriate.  They will describe how the selected climate change topic is/will affect them, their profession and/or their community.
4.    Videographer and Editor: (1 student)

Research Focus:  The videographer/editor will be responsible for assisting with all aspects of the research.  They MUST be available to assist either of the 3-4 team members with whatever it is they are working on.  The videographer/editor is also responsible to finding graphics, diagrams, graphs , video footage and or images to use in the final documentary.

 Film Focus: The videographer/editor is responsible for ensuring that high-quality video and sound is recorded of the experts giving interviews.  They must supplement interview footage with high quality video, images and graphics to captivate and interest their audience.  They must also work with the Director to put together and edit the final product.

***All Members: 
All group members are responsible for:
●    contributing to the selection of the project location and topic/issue
●    researching the selected topic
●    filming interviews and playing different roles (Scientists, Climate Experts, Local Experts, Stakeholders, etc.) 
●    Helping others group members when help is required, or when your own work is complete
●    Though the Editor and Director are primarily responsible for putting together the final project, all group members are expected to assist and contribute. 

 

Pre-assessment:

I teach Science 6 to approximately 70 students so the pretest has to be given in a format that can provide me with information on a variety of topics quickly, automatically and visually.  I will use either socrative.com or Google Forms to do this.

Question Format:
●    Agree/disagree
●    True/false
●    Multiple Choice

Content Topics:
●    Vocabulary
●    Weather vs. Climate
●    Atmosphere (layers and composition)
●    Water Cycle (and phase changes)
●    Seasons
●    Climate Change

Skill Topics:
●    Reading graphs and maps
●    Interpreting weather and climate data (graphs, ran numbers, etc.)

Project Specific:
●    Group preferences
●    Interest in project roles
●    Interest in project topic    Formative Assessments: 

●    Hand Signals (L4,6,7,11-14,16-25)
●    Summary - What are weather and climate? (L5)
●    Extreme Weather Investigation (L5)
●    Water Cycle/Phase Activity (L6,7)
●    Atmosphere Quick Quiz  (L11)
●    Energy Quick Quiz (L12)
●    Group and Job Conferences (L14, 16-25)
●    *Peer assessment of project(L23)
o    (with form submitted to teacher for accountability)    Summative Assessment: 

●    Water Cycle Story (L8-10)
●    Water Cycle Quiz (L11)
●    Energy and Atmosphere Quiz (L15)
●    Final Project - Climate Change Documentary
Sequence of Instruction
Entry Activity:  Climate Documentary – The 11th Hour

Day 0: (Done before the unit)
a.    Pre-Assessment

Day 1: 
a.    Entry Event (Part 1)- the 11th Hour
b.    Accountability Activity - Watching with a Purpose:
i.    Climate and Weather Concepts
ii.    Videos Message
iii.    Questions

Day 2:
a.    Entry event (Part 2)- the 11th Hour
b.    Accountability Activity - Watching with a Purpose:
i.    Climate and Weather Concepts
ii.    Videos Message
iii.    Questions
c.    Reflection and discussion of major themes

Day 3:
a.    Project Introduction/Explanation
b.    Class K-W-L
c.    Job Applications (pre-assessment)
d.    Brainstorming


Day 4:
a.    ML: What are weather and climate?
b.    Hand Signals
c.    Application: Weather and Climate Investigation activity

Day 5:
a.    PTT: Summary: What is the difference between Weather and Climate?
b.    ML: What is weather?
i.    How do we measure and describe weather?
c.    Application: Extreme Weather Investigation

Day 6:
a.    ML: Water Cycle - Phase Changes
b.    Hand Signals
c.    Application: Water Cycle Activity (Sorting)

Day 7:
a.    ML: Water Cycle - Movement and Storage
b.    Hang Signals
c.    Application: Water Cycle Activity (Sorting)

Day 8-10:
a.    Assessment: Water Cycle Story (Visual and written representation)

Day 11:
a.    Assessment: Water Cycle Quiz
b.    ML: Layers and Composition of the Atmosphere
i.    Composition
ii.    Structure
iii.    Ozone
iv.    Climate Change
c.    Hand Signals
d.    Application: Atmosphere Compare and Contrast
e.    Small Group: Teacher meeting with potential producers
f.    Closure: Atmosphere Quick Quiz 

Day 12:
a.    ML: Sun’s Energy and the Seasons
b.    Hand Signals
c.    Closure: Formative Assessment - Energy Quick Quiz

Day 13:
a.    ML: Climate Zones in Mexico
i.    Climate problems in Mexico
b.    Hand Signals
c.    Project Worktime:
i.    Forming Groups
ii.    Researching Climate Issues in different parts of Mexico
iii.    Choosing a region and a problem(s)

Day 14: 
a.    Project Worktime*
b.    Formative Assessments: Hand Signals, Group and/or Job Conferences (Daily)
c.    ML/Small Group

Day 15:
a.    Assessment: Energy and the Atmosphere Quiz
b.    Project Worktime*
c.    ML/Small Group


Day 16 - 25: Project Worktime*
a.    Formative Assessments: Hand Signals, Group and/or Job Conferences (Daily)


*Mini lessons and small group instruction will occur daily and be based on the need demonstrated in formative assessments. 
Mini Lessons and Topics for Small Group Instruction: 
Content:
a.    Extreme weather
b.    Sea level rise
c.    Erosion and weathering
d.    Affects on Agriculture and growing seasons
e.    Water cycle changes
f.    Climate change adaptation

Science Skills:
a.    Reading and Creating Graphs
b.    Map creation

Project:
a.    What is your message and why does it matter?
b.    Elements of a documentary
c.    Job Specific Meetings and Troubleshooting

Day 22 or 23: Class-wide check-in, sharing and peer assessment and feedback

Day 26: 
a.    Presentation Day
b.    Voting

Day 27:
a.    Reflection
b.    Awards!

Presentation:  
●    All films will be shown in class
○    Invite parents, other teachers, admin
○    Awards will be voted on and given within each class
●    Award winners will be selected and shown to the entire generation
○    in advisory
○    top selection (s) shown at the end-of-year assembly graduation
Brain Compatible Strategies:


- Note taking and Summarizing
- Diagrams, maps (Visual representations)
- Cooperative Learning (teamwork and defined roles)
- Setting Objectives and Providing Feedback (in meetings)
- Cues, questions and advanced organizers

- Student centered, experiential, holistic, authentic, expressive, reflective

- Social, collaborative, democratic, cognitive, constructive, challenging    Differentiation Strategies/Opportunities:

Occurring throughout the unit based on group topics and the pre-assessment results.

- Students exempted from lessons if they demonstrate proficiency in pre-assessment
- Groups jobs are differentiated based on interests and aptitudes
- Lessons chosen based on topics selected by groups
- Fast paced lessons for OM cluster, more repetition for resource cluster
- Groups based on MAP data and achievement - additional scaffolding and teacher/resource support provided to lower achieving groups    21st Century Skills

Life and Career
- Real life application
- Job Applications

Core Subjects
- Research
- Reading

Learning and Innovation
- Critical Thinking
- Collaborative
- Communication
- Creative

Multimedia/Technology
- Creation of video
- Computer based research