What Does Plant Biology Teach Us About Climate?
Pace High School, Manhattan
Summer Research Program for Science Teachers
Subject: Earth Science
Grade Level: 8th to 10th
Duration: 40 minutes
Do Now: What factors influence climate? What can trees tell us about the climate? How could they tell us these things?
Understand climate factors like temperature and precipitation
See the connection between climate factors like temperature and precipitation on trees
Vocabulary: Precipitation, Average temperature, Climate, dendrochronology, crossdating
Dendrochronology Webquest Worksheet
In this activity, students
will compare the factors that influence climate, with how they affect
tree ring growth.
In this activity, students will compare the factors that influence climate, with how they affect tree ring growth.
1. On the smartboard there is the do now question, “What factors influence climate? How do these factors also influence tree growth?" (Students are given 5 minutes to construct a response)
2. Students are shown pictures of tree cores and they are told to fold a piece of paper in quarters and sketch and explain each picture. (Students are grouped in threes, and work together to sketch, explain, and present their findings. (10 min)
Log on to (regentsprep.org) and answer the constructed response question about climate.
Directions: Record your answers in the spaces provided in your answer booklet.
Some questions may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.
Base your answers to questions 1 through 3 on the paragraph below, which describes some factors that affect Earth’s climate.
1. State one reason for the increase in the amount of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere during the last 100 years.
2. State one way that the recent increase in average global temperature can cause changes in ocean water level.
3. State what would happen to the average summer and winter temperatures in New York State if the tilt of Earth’s axis were to decrease from 23½ to 20?
Teachers of science plan an inquiry-based science program
for their students. In doing this, teachers
• Develop a framework of yearlong and short-term goals for students.
• Select science content and adapt and design curricula to meet the interests, knowledge, understanding, abilities, and experiences of students.
• Select teaching and assessment strategies that support the development of student understanding and nurture a community of science learners.
• Work together as colleagues within and across disciplines and grade levels.
Teachers of science guide and facilitate learning. In doing this, teachers:
• Focus and support inquiries while interacting with students.
• Orchestrate discourse among students about scientific ideas.
• Challenge students to accept and share responsibility for their own learning.
• Recognize and respond to student diversity and encourage all students to participate fully in science learning.
• Encourage and model the skills of scientific inquiry, as well as the curiosity, openness to new ideas and data, and skepticism that characterize science.
Teaching Standard C
Teachers of science engage in ongoing assessment of their teaching and of student learning. In doing this, teachers:
• Use multiple methods and systematically gather data about student understanding and ability.
• Analyze assessment data to guide teaching.
• Guide students in self-assessment.
• Use student data, observations of teaching, and interactions with colleagues to reflect on and improve teaching practice.
• Use student data, observations of teaching, and interactions with colleagues to report student achievement and opportunities to learn to students, teachers, parents, policy makers, and the general public.
New York City Standards:
New York City Standards:
5. Scientific Thinking
A. Frames questions to distinguish cause and effect; and identifies or controls variables.
B. Uses concepts from Science Standards 1 to 4 to explain a variety of observations and phenomena.
C. Uses evidence from reliable sources to develop descriptions, explanations, and models; and makes appropriate adjustments and improvements.
8. Scientific Investigation
A. Demonstrates scientific competence by completing a controlled experiment.
B. Demonstrates scientific competence by completing fieldwork.
C. Demonstrates scientific competence by completing a design.