On Day One of this investigation, students learned the difference between climate and weather, and the four main ingredients of weather. On Day Two, students participated in three different labs to investigate the formation of wind. Today on Day Three, they will consolidate that information to understand how wind in the atmosphere interacts with landforms to determine patterns of weather.
Connection to The Next Generation Science Standards
In this investigation, students begin the work that will lead them to explore the Disciplinary Core Idea of Earth's Systems: Earth Materials and Systems - that Earth's major systems are the geosphere (solid and molten rock, soil, and sediments), the hydrosphere (water and ice), the atmosphere (air), and the biosphere (living things, including humans). These systems interact in multiple ways to affect Earth's surface materials and processes. The ocean supports a variety of ecosystems and organisms, shapes landforms, and influences climate. Winds and clouds in the atmosphere interact with the atmosphere to determine patterns of weather. (5-ESS2-1); The Roles of Water in Earth's Surface Processes: Nearly all of Earth's available water is in the ocean. Most fresh water is in glaciers or underground: only a tiny fraction is in streams, lakes, wetlands, and the atmosphere. (5-ESS2-2) and the Crosscutting Concept of Systems and System Models - A system can be described in terms of its components and their interactions (5-ESS2-1), and Scale, Proportion, and Quantity - Standard units are used to describe and measure physical quantities such as weight and volume (5-ESS2-2)
Please Note: The Lexile Level for Plaid Pete Is Modeling Earth's Systems - Lab Scenario Sheet Lesson 13 is 770 (5th Grade Range is 740 - 1010).
The air pressure lab is based on an experiment, Why Does The Wind Blow, from The Little Shop of Physics at Colorado State University.
The Preparation Time for This Investigation is approximately 10 minutes.
There is an additional 20 minutes of time needed to laminate and cut out the manipulatives the first time you use them.
One copy for each student of
One set for each team of Convection Current - Moveable Models
One copy for each student of Plaid Pete Is Modeling Earth's Systems - Lesson 12 Check-Up
One copy for each student of Plaid Pete Is Modeling Earth's Systems Lab Sheet - Lesson 11
Uneven Heating Lab
2 Plastic Dishes or Cups per team
2 Thermometers per team
1 Balance with gram cubes per team
Air Pressure Lab
1 - 1 liter plastic bottle per team (pre cut a hole approximately 1 inch from the bottom and cover with a square of duct tape)
1 Fizz Keeper Pump Cap per team (Available from the Educational Innovations website)
Styrofoam packing peanuts
Convection Current Lab
3 plastic vials per team
4 plastic cups per team
2 pipettes per team
2 dispensing bottles (for cold blue water and hot red water)
red food coloring
blue food coloring
One copy for each student of Plaid Pete Is Modeling Earth's Systems - Lab Scenario Sheet - Lesson 10
One copy for each student of Plaid Pete Is Modeling Earth's Systems - Lab Sheet Lesson 10
One paper copy for each student of Plaid Pete Is Modeling Earth's Systems Word Wall Cards - Lesson 10
One copy for each student of Plaid Pete Is Modeling Earth's Systems Weather Process Grid
Before we begin our activities for the day, I share the objectives with my students. I tell them that by the end of today's class period, they should be able to meet these objectives.
Learning Objective & Success Criteria
Note: Consistent with the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol, I am now including a language objective with each lesson. These objectives were derived from the Washington State ELP Standards Frameworks that are correlated with the CCSS and the NGSS.
I share the learning objective and success criteria:
Learning Objective: I can describe how wind in the atmosphere interacts with landforms to determine patterns of weather.
Language Objective: I can construct grade appropriate oral claims, and support them with reasoning and evidence. [ELP.4-5.4]
Success Criteria: I can complete my lab sheet, including a correctly supported claims and evidence T table.
I tell my students, "Our friends at Scholastic have a video that will help us to make sense of the investigations we completed yesterday. Please pay careful attention to this video clip. I will be providing a Listening Guide to help you understand the information presented. Don't worry - I will play the video twice, and allow you to work in your teams, but you do need to listen carefully so that you can make sense of this information!" I hand out the Plaid Pete Is Modeling Earth's Systems Lab Sheet - Lesson 12. This is the Listening Guide for the video. I read through the prompts with my students before I play the video. This is new and complex information, so I know they need as much scaffolding as I can provide. I play the video Scholastic Study Jams: Air Pressure and Wind. As promised, I play the video twice, and then allow them to work in their teams to finish the cloze sentences.
After the video is over, I ask my students to get out the Plaid Pete Is Modeling Earth's Systems- Lab Sheet Lesson 11 that they completed yesterday. I tell them that we will be using the information we learned in the video and our lab sheets to make sense of the information.
Making Sense of the Uneven Heating Lab
I ask my students, "What happened when you heated the water and the soil?" A student responds that the soil heated up more quickly than the water, but then the soil cooled down faster as well. I ask my students to extend this idea to Earth. I ask, "What is it that transfers heat energy to the land and water on Earth?" I ask my students to turn and talk in their teams. I randomly call on a student to answer, and they correctly state it is the sun. I have a piece of chart paper on which I have written a heading - Wind. Under this heading I summarize the important information I want them to take away on the Anchor Chart.
Making Sense of the Air Pressure Lab
I tell my students, "Yesterday, you introduced a hot liquid, dyed with red food coloring, into a vial of room temperature water. What happened to the hot, red liquid when you placed it in the vial?" I randomly call on a student who correctly answers that the liquid floated to the top of the vial.
I say, "When we collected our previous ideas about air, we said that air was a gas, and that the particles are arranged farther apart. Gases behave like any type of matter when you heat them. What happens to the particles in a gas when you heat them?" I ask my students to turn and talk in their teams. I randomly call on a student to answer. They correctly state that just like the liquid in the vial, the video said that gases also rise when you heat them. I explain, "Yes, both liquids and gases rise when you heat them because they become less dense. That means the particles spread farther apart, and there are less particles, less matter in a specific area than there were there before. I draw a diagram of this on the Anchor Chart.
I say, "Now think about the Air Pressure Lab. What happened when you pumped air inside the bottle?" I ask my students to turn and talk in their teams. I randomly call on a student to answer. They state that the packing peanuts got smaller. I say, "Yes. The packing peanuts got smaller or compressed. This is because you created an area of high pressure. You made the air more dense by pushing the particles together. Did anyone notice a temperature change?" A few students raise their hands. I say, "When air particles get closer together, what temperature change would you expect to feel?" I ask my students to turn and talk in their teams. I randomly call on a student who states that when the particles get closer together the air will get cooler. I ask, "Did anyone notice that the bottle felt cooler when you pushed the pumper in? Please look at your lab notes and see if you wrote that" Students confirm that yes they had written that in their lab notes. I then ask, "What happened when you removed the tape from the hole?" I randomly call on a student who responds that the air rushed out of the bottle. I say, "Just like in the video, air will move from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure. What you did in the Air Pressure Lab was create wind!" I write bulleted notes on the Anchor Chart.
Making Sense of the Convection Lab
I say, "Now think about the Convection Lab. Once the cold blue water sunk to the bottom of the vial and then was heated on the side where the bag of hot water was placed, what happened?" I ask my students to turn and talk. I randomly call on a student who states that the blue water started to rise up on that side. I then ask, "What happened then? Did the water stay at the top?" I ask my students to again turn and talk in their teams, looking at the models they have drawn on their lab sheets. I randomly call on a student who states that the blue water started to drop on the side opposite where the bag of hot water was placed. I tell my students, "Just like in the video where it explained a convection cell, or current with air, you created one with liquid. Although the type of matter is different - the process is exactly the same. Cool liquid or air sinks because it is less dense. Then as it is heated, and in our case on Earth - it is heated by the Sun - it rises. As the liquid reached the top of the vial, it cooled. As air reaches the top layer of the troposphere, it cools as well. This causes the particles to move closer together, and then both air and liquid, sink back down again where they are warmed. The process starts all over again and just as you saw - it creates a circular current. This is called a convection cell, or a convection current." I list the important information I want them to take away, on our Anchor Chart. This is our completed Anchor Chart.
I tell my students, "The best way to make sense of this information is with "movable models" - let's give it a try!"
I pass out one set of the Convection Current - Moveable Models to each of my teams. I have laminated the placements, then laminated the pieces, cut them out, and placed them in plastic sandwich bags. We will begin with the Beach Scene Placement.
I tell my students, "Put the Sun out on the beach scene to show that it is daytime. Now I would like you to work in your teams to construct a convection current, showing which way the wind is blowing, using the pieces you have in your envelope.
Teams Construct A Daytime Convection Current
I move between my teams, prompting them to use their notes when they get stuck. This is a difficult, cognitively engaging task, so I encourage them to check back both with their listening guide, and with their investigation notes.
I stop in to work with one of my students whom I know will need extra practice in applying what she has learned about temperature and density of liquids to air, as seen in this Video Clip 1. I then move to a different team and work with this student to make sense of the air pressure lab, as seen in Video Clip 2.
After teams have had an opportunity to place their pieces, I call the class to attention. I ask a few teams to share out their placements. I ask a team to present first that has some errors in the placement of their pieces. We have built a safe classroom where ideas can be questioned. This is not an instructional choice I would have made at the beginning of the year. After the team has presented their pieces I ask, "Does anyone agree, or disagree with their claim? Remember - if you disagree you must have evidence to support your counterclaim. That is what you are doing when you disagree - you are making a counterclaim."
When we have consolidated this information I explain that this is called a sea breeze, because the wind is moving from the sea to the land.
Teams Construct A Night-Time Convection Current
I tell my teams, "Remove the Sun and replace it with the moon that you have in your sandwich bag. Now, it is night, and the land has cooled. Remember - water has retained the heat energy that it soaked in during the day, and doesn't release it as quickly as land. Move your pieces to show how the convection current at night and the direction of the wind movement."
My students don't want to be wrong - so now they are a bit more careful to check their notes. This is a good scientific habit of mind to develop! Once again - I allow them time to move their pieces, and practice in their teams. I have to nudge a bit, and point out the note about the reversal of uneven heating. With this assistance, teams are able to determine that the convection current moves in the opposite direction. I explain that this is called a land breeze, because the breeze is moving from the land to the sea. In Video Clip 3, this student is having an easier time of it this go around!
Mountain and Valley Breezes
I now ask my students to construct a daytime convection current to show the formation of a breeze between mountains and a valley. This time, specific students have asked for the opportunity to present while they are asked to defend their choices by their classmates, as seen in Video Clip 4. I explain that during the day, this is called a valley breeze, because the breeze is moving from the valley towards the mountains.
Once teams understand the daytime convection current between mountains and valleys, it is fairly easy for them to reverse the process to understand the convection current at night. I tell them that this is called a mountain breeze, because the breeze is flowing from the mountain towards the valley.
I ask my students to continue to "orally rehearse" or explain how wind or breezes are formed between land and oceans, and mountains and valleys. They need this additional practice! As you can see in this Video Clip it takes all of the team members putting their heads together to come up with the explanation. This was particularly true for my English Language Learners. They needed lots of oral rehearsal and practice.
I say, "It's important that you practice this because tomorrow for your Do Now activity, I am going to ask you to complete a Lesson Check-Up. This is your opportunity to practice for that!"
I move between partners, ensuring they are practicing correctly and we are ready for tomorrow when I hand out Plaid Pete Is Modeling Earth's Systems - Lesson 12 Check-Up!