science learning packet grade 6 ocean, atmosphere, and ... , a 6th grade life science unit developed

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  • Science Learning Packet Grade 6:

    Ocean, Atmosphere, and Climate, Lesson 3

    science learning activities for SPS students during the COVID-19 school closure.

    Seattle Public Schools is committed to making its online information accessible and usable to all people, regardless of ability or technology. Meeting web accessibility guidelines and standards is an ongoing process that we are consistently working to improve.

    While Seattle Public Schools endeavors to only post documents optimized for accessibility, due to the nature and complexity of some documents, an accessible version of the document may not be available. In these limited circumstances, the District will provide equally effective alternate access.

    Due to the COVID-19 closure, teachers were asked to provide packets of home activities. This is not intended to take the place of regular classroom instruction but will help supplement student learning and provide opportunities for student learning while they are absent from school. Assignments are not required or graded. Because of the unprecedented nature of this health crisis and the District’s swift closure, some home activities may not be accessible.

    If you have difficulty accessing the material or have any questions, please contact your student’s teacher.

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    Grade 6 Science Learning Activity

    Ocean, Atmosphere, & Climate Unit

    Lesson 3 Optional Instructional Materials

    Lesson 3: Air Temperatures Around the World

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    Hello Families,

    We hope you and your family are well and safe during this time. During this unprecedented out-of-school time, the SPS middle school science team will be offering instructional opportunities for students that align with the district’s adopted middle school science instructional materials. This work is optional and non- graded.

    This investigation packet is the first part in a series of district-aligned lessons about Oceans, Atmosphere, & Climate, a 6th grade life science unit developed by AmplifyScience. While Amplify Science lessons are designed to be done in the classroom with peers, there are some activities that students can complete at home. In this packet you will find activities to accompany lessons 1 and 2 of the unit. Accompanying lesson videos will be aired on SPS TV and posted the SPS webpage under Grade 6, however this packet can be used with or without the accompanying video.

    The videos can be accessed either online or through Seattle’s Public television programming on SPS TV (local channel 26), social media (Facebook and Instagram: @SeattlePublicSchools, Twitter: @SeaPubSchools), and our SPSTV YouTube channel. will also host on-demand videos under the tab “Lesson Plan” and broadcast on channel KOMO 4.3. These supplemental learning videos feature short segments supporting a variety of subjects and grade levels. All videos will be close captioned on YouTube. For more information regarding the SPS TV broadcast schedule and to find the videos, please visit the following website:

    For students who have access to the internet and the following devices and browsers may wish to log-in to their AmplifyScience account from home are welcome to do so. See below for guidance on which browser

    ● Desktops and Laptops (Windows 7+, Mac OS 10.11+) - Suggested browsers: Chrome & Safari ● Chromebooks - Suggested browser: Chrome ● iPads that support iOS11.3+ (iPad5+) - Suggested browser: Safari


    Seattle Public Schools Science Department

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    Lesson 3

    One of the important jobs of climate scientists is to read and interpret different types of maps that present data about Earth’s systems. To help us figure out why the temperature in Christchurch, New Zealand is cooler during El Nino years, we will begin to investigate a new question: Why do different locations have different air temperatures?

    Today, you will look at two maps that will help you investigate air temperature and why it’s different in different places. Next, you will use what you have learned to analyze real climate data that the New Zealand Farm Council sent to help with your investigation. Vocabulary Review from Previous Lessons:

    CLIMATE: General weather patterns over a long period of time

    ENERGY: the ability to make things move or change

    TEMPERATURE: a measure of how hot or cold something is; a measure of the average kinetic energy of the molecules of a thing

    TRANSFER: to move from one object to another or one place to another

    Unit Question: During El Nino years, why is Christchurch, New Zealand’s temperature cooler than usual?

    Location of Christchurch, New

    Zealand in the

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    southern Pacific Ocean

    Lesson 3 – Part 1: Energy and Temperature Maps So far, we know that energy from the sun is transferred to Earth’s surface. Some of that energy is then transferred to the air above the surface. This tells us how energy from the sun can warm the air, but it does not explain why different locations have different air temperatures.

    New Vocabulary for Today’s Lesson:

    LATITUDE: the distance of a place north or south of Earth's equator

    EQUATOR: the imaginary line that divides Earth into northern and southern hemispheres

    POLE: either of two areas on the earth's surface, the point on the earth's surface that is farthest south is the South Pole and the point on Earth’s surface that is farthest north in the North Pole.

    The horizontal lines on the map indicate latitude, and the scale on the left tells the number of degrees from the equator.

    On the map above label one place you think is very warm and one place you think is very cold.

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    Different maps can convey different kinds of information. Carefully look at the maps below and on the following page and then answer the questions.

    Incoming Energy from the Sun

    1. What do you notice about incoming energy at the equator?

    2. What happens to incoming energy as you move from the equator to the South Pole?

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    Global Air Temperature

    3. What do you notice about the air temperature of locations at the equator?

    4. What happens to air temperature of locations on Earth as you move from the equator to

    the South Pole?

    5. Use evidence from all three maps to answer the Investigation Question: Why do different

    locations have different air temperatures? Try to use the following words in your response: energy, temperature, and latitude.

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    Explaining Your Local Climate Use the map below to explain what determines your local climate to a member of your household.

    • You may work with more than one member of your household. • You might need to explain a little about energy transfer between the Sun, Earth’s

    surface, and the air in order for the member of your household to be able to better understand your local climate.

    • When you are finished, ask the person what they learned about climate. Record their answer below.

    What did your household member learn about climate after talking with you?

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    Lesson 3 – Part 2: Evaluating New Evidence Carefully read the following new email from Kiri Parata, the director of the New Zealand Farm Council.

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    Annotating and Discussing Evidence Use the first three questions to guide you as you read and annotate both graphs. When you are finished, discuss your ideas with your partner.

    1. What does each graph show? 2. What questions do you have about the information in the graphs? 3. How is the evidence connected to what you have been learning about climate, temperature,

    and energy?

    Energy from the Sun at Christchurch, New Zealand

    Average Ocean Surface Temperature near Christchurch, New Zealand

    Part 3: Evaluating Claims about Christchurch, New Zealand during El Niño Do the graphs above support or go against the claims about Christchurch during El Niño years? Which claim or claims could you eliminate (cross it/them out) after evaluating the evidence above?

    Christchurch’s air temperature is cooler than usual during El Niño years because . . . Claim 1: The amount of incoming energy from the sun changes. Claim 2: Something about Earth’s surface (land or water) changes. Claim 3: Something about the air changes.

    Write an explanation about why you crossed out the claim


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