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The Fragile Veil
Ginger Hawhee

Unit created on 2/5/2000 EST.
Last modified 2/5/2000 12:53:42 PM EST.

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Fundamental Understandings (help)

Earthís atmosphere is composed in such a way that allows life on the planet; however, atmospheric balance is precarious, and human activity can easily disrupt that balance.

Technology ISTE Standards (info) 

Technology problem-solving and decision-making tools Routinely and efficiently use online information resources to meet needs for collaboration, research, publications, communications, and productivity. Investigate and apply expert systems, intelligent agents, and simulations in real-world situations. Collaborate with peers, experts, and others to contribute to a content related knowledge base by using technology to compile, synthesize, produce, and disseminate information, models, and other creative works.

Information Literacy Standards (info) 

Standard 3: Uses information effectively and creatively, as described by the following indicators: 1.organizes information for practical application; 2.integrates new information into one's own knowledge; 3.applies information in critical thinking and problem solving; 4.produces and communication information and ideas in appropriate formats. Standard 9: Participates effectively in groups to pursue and generate information, as described by the following indicators: 1.shares knowledge and information with others; 2.respects others' ideas and backgrounds and acknowledges their contributions; 3.collaborates with others, both in person and through technologies, to identify information problems and to seek their solutions; 4.collaborates with others, both in person and through technologies, to design, develop, and evaluate information products and solutions.

Relevance (help)

Reside at the heart of the discipline A central scientific concept is equilibrium. The aspects of equilibrium covered in this unit include the balance between biotic and abiotic factors and the chemical balance required to maintain our atmosphere. Represents a big idea having enduring value beyond the classroom: Studentsí understandings of human impact on the fragile, chemical balance of the atmosphere is essential since their lifelong actions impact the Earth and since their understandings help them make wise decisions as citizens. Offer potential for engaging students: Since this directly relates to the lives of students it is likely to be more engaging.

Assessment (help)

The summative assessment for this unit is performance based. Students will be given a choice between two problem-based scenarios (one on ozone depletion and one on global warming). For their chosen scenario they must use their unit understandings to design an experiment that addresses the problem in the scenario. They must complete the designed experiment, make connections to atmospheric chemistry, and share gained information with their peers. The formative assessments for the unit include: -A product of choice (picture, poem, story, etc.), based on their understanding of the evolutionary development of the atmosphere, and predicting what they think our atmosphere might be like in the future. (preconception) -Completed laboratory reports on classroom inquiries about the chemical and biological impacts of both global warming and ozone depletion. -Practice problems balancing equations related to these concepts. -Written prompts and verbal questions regarding essential unit concepts. -Student self-assessment and peer-assessment through journals and peer dialogue.

Components (help)

a. The Atmospheric Puzzle: In this lesson, students are given a series of pictures depicting Earthís evolving atmosphere, each picture representing a different theoretical stage in the development of the atmosphere as we know it today. Given the images, students are asked to predict the order based on their current understandings in science. Student teams then share their hypothetical sequences with one other team, use that teamís input to reach consensus as to the sequence and determine reasons for their choices. Each larger team then explains their sequence and reasons for their choices to the class. A whole class discussion using guided questioning by the teacher, will then be used to reach consensus on their class hypothetical sequence. Teacher questioning and input and assist students in this process, and provide further scientific understanding. b. The Global Warming Issue: In this lesson, students study primary sources of data on long-term temperature changes. Students graph and analyze the data, and share their analysis with other student groups. Class consensus is reached on the long-term patterns and their implications to our decisions about and actions related to global warming. c. The Chemistry of Global Warming: In this lesson, students conduct a series of experiments relating to atmospheric gases associated with global warming. They also study the chemical reactions involved in these experiments, as well as practice balancing equations related to these reactions. d. Issue of Ozone Depletion and Ultraviolet Radiation: In this lesson, students begin with a general exploration of their understandings of ozone depletion and ultraviolet radiation. They design and conduct experiments using UV boxes to test the impact of this radiation on living organisms. Finally, they draw implications from their experimental results as they apply to the broader problem of ozone depletion. e. The Chemistry of Ozone: In this lesson, students conduct a series of experiments relating to the chemistry of ozone depletion. They also balance equations related to these chemical processes. f. The Big Picture: Atmospheric Changes: In this lesson, students use their unit understandings during problem-solving and decision-making activities about humans and their impact on the atmosphere.

URLs (help)


Workforce Competencies (info) (help)

Information Managers Effective Communicators Creative and Critical Thinkers Ethical and Responsible Workers Cooperative Workers Effective Leaders

Copyright © 1997-2003
Career Connection to Teaching with Technology
USDOE Technology Innovation Challenge Grant
Marshall Ransom, Project Manager
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