Lesson: The relationship between altitude and air pressure

David Kujawski Bird Middle East Walpole, MA
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Lesson Objective

YWBAT: 1) State and explain the relationship between altitude and air pressure 2) State and explain the relationship between altitude and temperature

Lesson Plan

Overview and Purpose: Demonstrate to students that air pressure is all around them. Students will investigate how air pressure changes as a hot air balloon rises in the air. Through the use of a software program developed by Univ. of Utah and the National Science Foundation (NSF), students will analyze graphs and data. In the end, they will be able to identify that altitude and air pressure/temperature have an inverse relationship. 


Lesson Breakdown:
 
DO NOW:
Have your ears ever popped as you drove in a car? Why do you think this happens?                     
Describe the circumstances/characteristics of where you were when this happened.
 
AIM: YWBAT
1) Explain the relationship between altitude and air pressure
2) Determine the relationship between temperature and altitude
 
AGENDA:
 
-
DO NOW; completion and review (5 minutes)  

- Starter: Air pressure index card demonstration (5 minutes)  http://wow.osu.edu/experiments/gases/indexcard.html
- Introduce activity that will occur in computer lab. Review rules and assign partners. Students will work in groups of 2 at each computer.   One student will use the mouse at a time and they can alternate responsibilities using the mouse and keyboard.  They will be dismissed from the computer lab to their next class. (7 minutes; includes walking to lab)                                  
http://aspire.cosmic-ray.org/labs/atmosphere/atm_measure2.html
-Students will observe teacher using the software on the LCD projector and will then follow the directions and complete the activity. (25 minutes)
-Students will complete a worksheet with several culminating questions and we will review as a class. (8 minutes) Collect for classwork grade.

-Clean-up lab/hand out homework/dismiss to next class (5 minutes)
 
      Checks for understanding:

The activity has checks for understanding incorporated into the program.  A graph is displayed of the balloons data and questions pop-up below the graph.


Reflection:

What went well? 
Students enjoyed the activity and were able to see the relationship between altitude and air pressure on a graph.  They like working with computers to gather and interpret data.

What would you change next time?
It's helpful to model the process of using the program to the class.  I might invest a few more minutes getting everyone on the same page, but, like most computer activities, students just need to mess around a little to figure out how the program works.

Additional Comments)
None

Lesson Resources

Air pressure lesson CW   Classwork
3,852
Air pressure lesson HW   Homework
2,009
altitude and air pressure graph   Other
2,276
Activity Screen Shot   Other
1,358
test
12913
Starter Activity
12913
Activity link
12913
Air pressure and precipitation animation
12913

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