Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Climate and Topography, What Is the Connection?

Scott Neumann

Description

This lesson deals only with the Earth's climatic patterns as they relate to the interplay of topographic features of Earth.

Objectives

The student knows how climatic patterns on Earth result from an interplay of many factors (Earth's topography, its rotation on its axis, solar radiation, the transfer of heat energy where the atmosphere interfaces with lands and oceans, and win

Materials

-Classroom set of Neumannís World continent maps (see Associated File)
-Classroom set of the Explanation of Topographic Features handout (see Associated File)
-Classroom set of Questions Activity sheet related to the map of topographic features (see Associated File)
-Pencil or pen

Preparations

1. Download the Explanation of Topographic Features from the Associated File and make a copy for each student.
2. Download the Neumannís world continent maps from the Associated File and make a copy for each student.
3. Download the Questions Activity sheet from the Associated File and make a copy for each student.
4. Download the answer key from the Associated File for yourself.
5. Before the lesson, review the following if necessary: climate, topography, windward and leeward side wind patterns of mountain ranges, High and Low pressure belts of latitude.

Procedures

1. Engage the students by asking the question: Why does winter snow last three to four months in Minnesota, and in Florida the snow doesnít last at all, or for a very short period of time.

2. Look for varied responses but tie it back to climate.

3. The objective is for students to understand how topographic features, such as elevation, latitude, mountains, and nearness to large bodies of water, affect climate.

4. Ask the students what is topography and climate.

5. Look for various responses, but look for physical feature of the earth to support correct answers for topography, and temperature average and precipitation amounts over a long period of time for climate.

6. Pass out Neumannís world continent map with a variety of topographic features. (See Associated File.)

7. Pass out a handout with explanations of how certain topographic features affect certain climatic conditions. (See Associated File.)

8. Pass out activity sheet with questions related to the map of topographic features. (See Associated File.)

9. Have the students read the handout with the explanations of how certain topographic features affect climate first. As each factor is read, make sure to check for understanding, or you can elaborate if you feel it is necessary.

10. Have the students look at the continent map and identify the given locations.

11. The students will explain the climatic condition of each location with supported details from the explanation of topographic activity sheet on the Questions Activity sheet. (See Associated File.)

12. Go around the room to check for proper responses while the students are working on the questions.

13. When the students have completed the questions, go over them with the students and check for accuracy. Often, you will find one or two factors not considered by students.

Assessments

Assess student activity sheet and map with questions related to the topography of the earthís surface and the general climatic patterns that result from the interplay of these factors. (Examples: mountains, latitude, nearness to large bodies of water.) (See associated file.)

Look for correct responses with detailed explanations of how the different topographic factors affect the general climate patterns of the earth.
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