Students need to be able to log in to the website. Once on the site, they will be required to find data from different towns and states, then navigate back to the original site. If they cannot do this, they can partner up or the teacher can lead the entire activity with a projector.
Students learned about climates and regions of the Earth in second grade. Fifth grade has a large focus on biomes and ecosystems, especially how two systems interact to support life and influence climate. This would fit perfectly toward the end of that unit. If not, a mini-lesson looking at the map provided demonstrates clearly that land masses close to water will tend to be wet. Masses closer to the equator tend to be warmer. This is simply giving a real world application to the comparing of decimals. An understanding of biomes and rainfall is not necessary to successfully doing this activity.
Background Information on Biomes: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/biome/
Students should understand that when working with decimals, they line up the decimals. Working from left to right, compare the tens' place, ones' place, tenths' place, etc. When you find two digits that are different, the number with the largest digit is the largest number. This activity is for practice on a new skill.
12.34 _______ 12.43 Both have 12 as a whole number, so move to the tenths' place. The first number has 3 tenths and the second number has 4 tenths. Because 4 tenths is larger, 12.43 is larger.
Clarify that because we read from left to right, you always say the first number first. If it is the larger of the two, > means ‘greater than.’ If the first number is the smallest, use < to mean the first number is ‘less than’ the second number.
Students need to read their answers aloud as much as possible, to ensure they are reading the numbers correctly. If students are struggling reading the answer aloud, write the number sentence out in word form.
Students should understand how to round numbers. At this point, they should be comfortable rounding to the nearest whole number and hopefully the tenths/hundredths place. It is for practice and/or moving an old skill into a new place by adding thousandths. The lowest fifth graders go is thousandths, and they would round to hundredths place. Once students understand the rule, they could challenge each other to go very low. The goal is for them to realize that at that point they are talking about water vapor and it is insignificant.
If students have not rounded decimals yet, they need to review that the rule (five and higher rounds up) still applies when rounding parts of a whole number. Underline the place requested, then look at the digit to the right. If it's a 5 or higher, up it goes and everything behind it becomes a 0. If it's a 0-4, it stays the same and all following digits become a 0.
Round to the nearest hundredth place. 12.166 becomes 12.170
whereas 12.163 becomes 12.160
If students are not comfortable rounding, this could be done an additional day, then revisit the website for more practice.