Reflection: Grappling with Complexity Layers of the Atmosphere - Section 4: Explore


Making sense of science texts is at times complex and challenging to students due to the introduction of topic specific vocabulary that are not a part of their everyday lexicon. To help students focus on the key vocabulary and concepts in the reading that accompanies this lesson, I began by placing emphasis on the keywords in the first few paragraphs by making them bold or underlined. You will notice that I do not do this for the final paragraphs as my intent was that they would practice pulling out the keywords after seeing my modeling in the first two sections. 

I added a space to the right of the paragraph where I ask my students to list the key points. We talk about how to do this and I model for them with the first paragraph. You can demonstrate this with your students by adding the selected words or terms to the box with any essential details. 

This is an great place to stop and ask students what it means to summarize. Summarizing forces students to prioritize information separating the important points, rephrasing and condensing them into their own ideas. 

What I like about this lesson is that once the students complete graphing the data, they must label the layers of the atmosphere by going back to the reading and interpret from the text, using their notes and the keywords, to determine where each boundary is located based on description of the change in temperature with altitude. 

  Summarizing the Key Points
  Grappling with Complexity: Summarizing the Key Points
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Layers of the Atmosphere

Unit 2: Effects of Heat Energy Transfers on Earth's Atmosphere
Lesson 8 of 14

Objective: Students will be able to develop and use a model to understand the characteristics of the different layers of the Earth's Atmosphere.

Big Idea: Help students visualize the differences in temperature in Earth's atmosphere by having them create a model while practicing graphing skills.

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atmospheric layers
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