Before Strategy/Engage: 20 minutes
1. As students enter the room, a question is posted on the board: Do you think that climate can affect the type of weather phenomenon that an area of the world has? Students will be given five minutes to think of an answer and write a response to the question on their paper. This builds on the students' current background knowledge.
2. The teacher should ask students to share their thoughts in 2-3 minutes. The teacher will tell students that they are going to watch a video clip from a United Kingdom news station: Channel 4 that explores the topic.
3. The teacher will show the students the video clip "How Does Climate Change Affect Our Weather?" from Channel 4 News on YouTube. (3 minutes 17 seconds)
4. The teacher will ask students to revisit the question they saw at the beginning of class and ask the students to add to their first answer. Allow 3-5 minutes for students add to their initial answers.
5. The teacher will ask students the following questions, allowing students to look at their papers if needed as a reference:
- Do you think El Niño can directly affect where we live in Alabama?
- How can a pattern of warmer and wetter weather affect the type of weather phenomenon that an area might have?
6. The teacher should explain that the class is going to investigate different weather phenomena and how the climate can affect each by moving into a jigsaw activity.
During Strategy/ Explore & Explain: 60 minutes
1. The teacher will divide students into collaborative groups of six students each with each group being given the topic of either tornadoes, hurricanes, droughts, or earthquakes. Each group will be given the books on their topic and the Internet articles for each group listed in the materials and resources section of this lesson. These articles may be printed if technological devices aren't available.
2. Students will create a half sized poster. On the left side of the poster, the students will describe through text and drawings the climate of an area that produces that type of weather phenomenon. On the right side of the poster, the students will explain through text and drawings the weather phenomenon that occurs and why it occurs in that climate. A checklist for students for the poster is included in the attachments.
Note: Depending on your classroom management during group activities, you may want to assign each student in the group with a certain role, such as Lead Researcher, Note Taker, or Poster Creator. Explain that all students will assist in all areas, but this may help make sure that group participation is distributed.
3. The teacher should show students a sample poster on Avalanches (see attachment) and discuss with students that the information came from the texts.
4. Allow students twenty minutes to read the texts and take notes on the graphic organizer (attached). The texts are the websites listed for each group and the books for each group. Students will only need to read the excerpts or tabbed pages of the books. This may be completed individually, in paired groups, or in the group of six. The graphic organizer is complete when students have found a minimum of 3 facts about a climate of an area, a minimum of 3 facts about the weather phenomenon that the climate produces, and cites the source in the correct blank.
5. After students have read the Internet texts and the tabbed pages in the books, students will discuss their findings by looking over their graphic organizers with each other. Allow ten minutes for students to share their findings and plan their poster.
6. After ten minutes of sharing their graphic organizers with each other, students will then be given the half sheet of poster board and crayons. Students are to use the model as an example. Allow students 15 minutes to complete their group's poster.
After Strategy/ Explain & Elaborate: 20 minutes
1. The students should choose one group representative of each weather phenomenon to share with the class. Allow each group 2-3 minutes to present their half poster.
2. The teacher should show students the chart from Historical Records and Trends from the NCDC titled "Average Tornado Frequency By Month of Year: 1991-2010".
3. The teacher should ask students the following questions:
- Which months had the highest amounts of tornadoes in the United States? Which months had the least?
- How many more tornadoes have there been on average in May than in January?
- Based on what the tornado group discussed from their findings on climate and tornadoes, why would tornadoes be more prevalent in certain months and certain regions of the United States?
4. The students should respond to the following question on an "exit slip" writing prompt. Knowing that climate can and does affect weather phenomenon, how can scientists use this knowledge to make people more aware of and prepare for natural disasters? The teacher should encourage students to use evidence discussed today as they predict how public safety can be increased through our knowledge of natural disasters.
Note: This prompt will begin the next class as the students move from learning about how climates affect various natural disasters to how public safety can be increased to help civilians during a specific natural disaster, the tornado.