The layers of the atmosphere vary in terms of chemical composition, physical characteristics and types of solar radiation.
Each of these variables interact in ways that lead to distinctly different layers of Earth's atmosphere.
Students practice responsible use of technology systems, information, and software.
Students use technologyto locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources.
Accesses information efficiently and effectively
Evaluates information critically and competently
Uses the information accurately and creatively
Is information literate and strives for excellence in information seeking and knowledge generation
Participates effectively in groups to purseu and generate information
Reside at the heart of the discipline In order to understand the interactions between the atmosphere and the biosphere, students must first understand the makeup of the atmosphere itself.
Represents a big idea having enduring value beyond the classroom: A general understanding of the atmophere and our influences on it are necessary for students to understand their roles as caretakers of Earth.
Require uncoverage, meaning that misconceptions need to be identified and clarified: Students hold misconceptions about the dimensions of the atmosphere, and time should be spent clarifying and correcting these misconceptions.
Offer potential for engaging students: If the introduction to atmospheric makeup is couched in the topics of severe weather, ozone depletion and other applied topics, student engagement should follow.
a. Students will use learning logs as they learn new information and reflect on tha information.
b. Students will develop a concept map during the course of the unit, adding components and their interactions as the unit proceeds.
c. Students will use their learning logs and concept maps as they complete the major project of the unit, which requires that they design artifical environments for human survival in the various layers of the atmosphere.
a. In the first unit activity, students are asked to share their current understandings of Earth's atmosphere and generate questions they have about it. This is a think-pair-share activity. Students are asked to begin with their understandings of other planets' atmospheres, learned in previous units. Based on past experience, they generate ideas about Earth's atmosphere. Students first individually write down any thoughts about the atmosphere that come their mind. They then share with a partner and generate a common list of understandings. Two groups of partners now share ideas, with an optional concept-map developed from these ideas. Finally, they generate questions they currently have about Earth's atmospheric composition.
b. To find answers to student-driven questions, student teams work to help a hypothetical human survive as s/he passes through each individual layer of Earth's atmosphere. Students are given an overview description of each layer of the atmosphere and it's relative position. They select the outermost layer which will then be highlighted on the computer screen. Another window is opened in which they describe the artificial environment required to maintain this human's life. Before moving on to the next layer, they must seek both peer and teacher review of their description. They continue through each layer, following the same procedure. The final product is the full description of their "plunge" through the atmosphere.
c. The final activity asks students to return to the questions generated in the first activity. They will answer as many questions as possible and determine resources needed to answer any unanswered questions.
Creative and Critical Thinker
Ethical and Responsible Worker