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Selected materials from Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears, a free online magazine designed to help elementary educators integrate science and literacy through the study of the polar regions.

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R ESEA R CH IN THE F I EL D : D R. J A S O N B O X

Summer Meltdown (Issue 5) by Carol Landis, Byrd Polar Research Center

Jason Box is a research scientist at Ohio State University. He is very interested in the ponds and lakes that form on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet in the summer season. Studying these bodies of melted snow and ice (meltwater) helps scientists understand the behavior of glaciers and their response to changes in climate. An ice sheet is a mass of glacier ice that is greater than 20,000 square miles. Approximately 81 percent of Greenland and 98 percent of Antarctica are covered with glacier ice. These ice sheets are cold, remote, and dangerous areas, which can be dark most of the winter (up to half of the year). But what happens to all this ice when it melts? During the sunny summer months, intense solar radiation causes pools of meltwater to form ponds and lakes on the ice sheets. These melt ponds and lakes can be quite large. The summer melt ponds on the surface of Greenland's ice are fascinating to Jason. From the images on the right, It would be logical (and correct) to suppose that the blue dots are melt lakes or ponds that appear in the spring and summer, caused by the intense solar radiation. It is also logical to predict that more water would accumulate on the surface as the summer goes on. However, that's not entirely true. (continued on page 6)

Below: These pictures of the Jakobshavn Glacier in western Greenland were taken in the summer season of 2003. Which picture do you think was taken earlier in the summer?

Jakobshavn Glacier (the ice margin of western Greenland) as it appeared in Summer 2003. NASA MODIS imagery, processed by Jason Box.

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PR O F E S S ION A L LE AR NI NG Common Misconceptions About States and Changes of Matter (Issue 5) by Jessica Fries-Gaither, Ohio State University

Water is a commonly used example of the solid, liquid, and gaseous states of matter. The properties of these states, along with the phase changes between them, are complex and easily misunderstood. In this article, we've listed some common misconceptions that researchers tell us students may hold about states and changes of matter. This list is meant to stimulate your thinking about the ideas your students bring to the classroom. More misconceptions related to the water cycle can be found in the Misconceptions section of the online version of Issue 5 of Beyond Penguins. It may also be helpful to consider weather-related misconceptions, as precipitation is an important part of the water cycle. For more information on weather misconceptions, please see "Common Misconceptions about Polar Weather and Climate" in Issue 4. We've also included formative assessment probes, which are modeled (with permission from NSTA Press) after those found in Uncovering Student Ideas in Science, Volumes 1, 2, and 3, as well as lessons and activities to shape students' understanding of these concepts. (continued on page 3)

Misconceptions: States and Changes of Matter (Water) Students may think...

Instead of thinking...

When water boils and bubbles, the bubbles are air, oxygen or hydrogen, or heat.

Bubbles formed by boiling water consist of water vapor (steam).

Steam is hot air.

Steam is water vapor.

When steam is no longer visible it becomes air.

When water vapor condenses in the air it is visible as tiny water droplets.

Water in an open container is absorbed by the container, disappears, changes into air, or dries up and goes into the air.

Water in an open container evaporates, changing from a liquid to a gas.

Ice molecules are colder than water molecules.

Ice molecules have less kinetic energy than water molecules.

Condensation is when air turns into a liquid.

Condensation is water vapor in the air that cools enough to become a liquid.

Condensation on the outside of a container is water that seeped (or sweated) through the walls of the container.

Condensation of water vapor happens when the water vapor in air comes in contact with a cool surface.

Expansion of matter is due to the expansion of the particles rather than increased space between the particles.

Matter expands when heated because the molecules are vibrating more quickly, loosening bonds, and increasing the space between adjacent atoms or molecules.

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PR O F E S S ION A L LE AR NI NG Common Misconceptions About States and Changes of Matter (continued)

Pancake Ice. Photo courtesy of Zee Evans, National Science Foundation.

WHAT CAUSES THESE MISCONCEPTIONS? In general, misconceptions result from students creating their own explanations for how the world works. Often, these ideas are formed well before a student arrives in science class - and serve their purpose well. Developmentally speaking, while concepts such as evaporation and condensation may be introduced in the elementary grades, teachers should remember that students will develop an increasingly sophisticated understanding of these concepts over time.

PROBING FOR STUDENT UNDERSTANDING Even if some misconceptions about states and changes of matter are to be expected in the elementary grades, it is still important for teachers to take the time to assess student understanding and the preconceived ideas they bring to science class. Simply observing students, asking questions, and paying close attention to their drawings and writings may be su!cient to gauge students' ideas. However, more formal assessment tools may also be helpful. Volumes 1, 2, and 3 of Uncovering Student Ideas in Science (© 2005-2008 by NSTA Press) each contain 25 formative assessment probes to help teachers identify misconceptions. Each volume of this series contains several probes that relate to states and changes of matter and the water cycle. Related formative assessment probes in Volume 1 of Uncovering Student Ideas in Science: "Ice Cubes in a Bag" asks students to decide whether there will be a change in mass when ice changes to liquid water. It elicits student ideas about conservation of matter in the context of substances and change in state. "Is It Melting?" asks students to select situations that involve melting as opposed to other physical or chemical changes. It elicits student ideas about the physical process of melting. "Wet Jeans" asks students to explain why a pair of jeans dry on a clothesline. It elicits student ideas about where water goes right after it evaporates. For more assessment probes, go online to Issue 5, “Water, Ice, and Snow”

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LIT ERAC Y S T R A TE GI E S Note Taking: Enhancing the Ability to Comprehend Nonfiction Text (Issue 7) by Tracey Allen and Clarissa Reeson, REAL Educators

Note taking is a strategy that helps students to identify important information, increase vocabulary, and organize information in a systematic manner. More importantly, note taking provides the opportunity for students to link prior knowledge with new concepts, thus fostering students’ ability to comprehend di!cult text. Education journals and current research support the claim that note taking is one of the top strategies students can cultivate to increase academic achievement. As students encounter unfamiliar text, they are equipped with the means to extract the most important information while staying engaged with the text. For their note taking, students draw three columns on their paper (see “Note It 3 Ways� template on page 5). The first column represents the main ideas of a selection, which could consist of facts or terms. The second column is used to record details that further help students understand the main ideas or facts. The information in this column should be discussed before the students record any details. All information should be written in "short and to the point" notes. This means that students should limit the information in this column to less than four words per bullet. The third column is used for a graphic representation of the item listed in the first column. When we first teach this strategy to K-5 students, we give them a template with the main idea or the new vocabulary word already listed in the first column. We tell the students that in note taking they are like an archaeologist; their job is to extract, or dig out, the details the author has left behind, based on each item listed in the first column. By having to narrow their thoughts to under four words, students begin to readily develop the skills needed to determine which details would best support the listed main idea or vocabulary word. Even though developing note-taking skills takes time, it will dramatically increase the comprehension ability of all learners in your classroom. To help students build their skill and confidence in this strategy, we provide explicit instruction and ample opportunities for guided practice. This systematic instruction gives students many opportunities to practice before they are required to use the strategy independently. For more ideas, go online to Issue 7, Energy and the Polar Environment highlights from beyond penguins & polar bears http://beyondpenguins.nsdl.org


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1 http://beyondpenguins.nsdl.org/ Issue 7: Energy and the Polar Environment

Name: __________________________________________________________

Note It 3 Ways T erm

Meaning

G raphic Representation

Summarize It:

Copyright October 2008 ! REAL Educators (www.realeducators.net) and Ohio State University. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0733024. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons AttributionShare Alike 3.0 Unported License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/.


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LES S O NS A N D A C TI VI TI E S Water Dance: Integrating Science, Literacy, and Art (Issue 5) by Jessica Fries-Gaither, Ohio State University When we think of integrating science and literacy, most often we think of reading nonfiction text or writing expository paragraphs, lab reports, and science notebooks entries. And while these are all e"ective (and recommended) instructional strategies, it can be just as e"ective to incorporate the more creative aspects of literacy - poetry and art. Thomas Locker's book Water Dance does just that, using full-page oil paintings and simple poems to depict water in its various forms along the water cycle. Informational text at the end of the book describes the water cycle and supplements the poems.

Water Dance. Thomas Locker. 1997. Picture Book. Recommended ages: Grades K-5.

SUPPLEMENT A SCIENCE UNIT In the November 2007 issue of Science and Children, Joanne Toft and Kathy Scoggin discuss how Water Dance engaged fifth-grade students and developed their knowledge of the water cycle. Toft and Scoggin describe three activities, all based on Water Dance, in their article "The Ripple E"ect."

Text Matching Game To prepare for this activity, the teachers made copies of the poems and cut them, separating each poem from its one-sentence tag line. Students previewed the cover of Water Dance but did not read the book. Pairs or triads matched the poems from each page to the tag line from each poem. As Toft and Scoggin report, listening to the group discourse during this activity proved to be an excellent formative assessment of students' knowledge of the water cycle. Sequencing and Sharing Following the matching activity, student groups arranged the poems in an order of their own choosing. Once the students had organized the 13 poems, they planned a dramatic reading of the material. Sharing these presentations led to a class discussion and deeper understanding of the nature of the water cycle - and an appreciation of multiple perspectives.

"I pass through a gateway of high stone palisades, leaving the land behind. Cool silver moonlight sparkles and dances on my waves. I am the sea." From Water Dance

Visual Matching Students reflected on each image and responded to open-ended questions. These questions allowed students to draw on personal experience and made the ensuing reading of Water Dance much richer. For more information on these activities, you can download the article in its entirety. Accessing this article is free for members of the National Science Teachers Association and $0.99 for nonmembers: http://www.nsta.org/store/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/4/ sc07_045_03_21 highlights from beyond penguins & polar bears http://beyondpenguins.nsdl.org


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significant e"ects on the glacier's behavior. Liquid water is denser and more fluid than ice. As it flows downward, it can enter and fill open spaces in the ice. If the water drains beneath the ice, it can reduce the friction with the rocks below, causing the glacier to slip more easily along the bed and surge forward. Jason Box crosses a melt pond in an inflatable dinghy. Photo courtesy of Jason Box.

(continued from page 1) Glacial melt lakes can suddenly and quickly drain and disappear. From satellite images and monitoring devices, glaciologists observed a melt lake on the Greenland ice sheet drain in less than 48 hours! In April 2008, a team of scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and the University of Washington reported that most of the meltwater in a lake more than two miles long and 40 feet deep drained in less than 90 minutes in a cascade larger than the Niagara Falls! How can this happen? MOVING THROUGH MOULINS Scientists believe that the weight of the water in a melt pond exerts enough force on the surface of the glacier to cause a crevasse (krih-voss'), or deep crack, to open. The crevasse is quickly filled by water from the pond. As the water moves downward, its turbulence and heat bores a shaft, called a moulin (moo-lawn), into the ice sheet. Moulins range in size and can be as wide as 10 meters (33 feet) across.

A layer of water under the base of the glacier (the part in contact with the land surface) can also change the speed of the glacier in another way. If enough water drains below the ice, the water can lift the ice o" the bed. This changes the amount of resistance acting on the ice. The change in pressure (from the bottom to the sides) exerts new stresses on the body of the glacier. The change in the direction and force of these stresses may weaken the structure of the glacier. The water cycle is a natural phenomenon that is readily understood. However, it is still di!cult to mathematically describe the amounts of water in the di"erent phases and places in the earth system. The rapid changes that are being observed in the ice sheets and glaciers were not built into the earlier climate change models. Greenland's glaciers and Jason's work will continue to be in the news throughout the International Polar Year and beyond.

MELTWATER MATTERS Scientists like Jason are interested in where the meltwater ends up. Does the water refreeze at some point as it travels through the ice, or does it remain liquid and travel all the way to the bedrock below? In 2006, scientists lowered cameras into the water as it drained into a moulin to answer that question. Scientists know that some of the meltwater is able to flow all the way to the base of the glacier, where it can have

A cross-section of a glacier showing the features of a moulin. Image courtesy of http://www.global-greenhousewarming.com/.

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O FF T H E B OOKS HE L F Water, Snow, and Ice: Virtual Bookshelf (Issue 5) by Angela Grandstaff, Upper Arlington

Recommended Books

Public Library, Arlington, Ohio

The water, snow, and ice found in the polar regions provide a real-world context for studying physical science concepts, such as states and changes of matter, and earth and space science concepts like the water cycle. The size, appearance, and behavior of glaciers and icebergs engage students and adults alike. Reading nonfiction trade books supplements the scientific investigations, connects experiences and concepts, and assists students in visualizing and understanding more abstract concepts, such as evaporation.

Water Series. Helen Frost. 2000.! Nonfiction books. Recommended ages: Grades K-1. Four books in this series use simple text and color photographs to illustrate the water cycle and the behavior and the properties of water in its different states of matter. The book titles are Water As a Gas, Water As a Liquid, Water As a Solid, and The Water Cycle.

As always, most of our selected books are nonfiction. We believe that elementary students need exposure to this genre to set a compelling purpose for reading and to become familiar with the text structures used in expository and informational text. However, we also recommend fiction books such as Water Dance, by Thomas Locker, for its rich and precise word choice and engaging presentation of the water cycle (see page 6). Carefully selected fiction can serve as a springboard for a science lesson or as a basis for comparison with nonfiction on a similar topic. Want more? Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears has additional book recommendations and ways to integrate literacy and science instruction. Also go to our blog: http://expertvoices.nsdl.org/polar

Looking at Solids, Liquids, and Gases: How Does Matter Change? Jackie Gaff. 2008. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades 2-4. Divided into chapters, this book explains the states of matter and how matter can change from one state to another. Each section is headed with a question, making this book perfect for use with a comprehension strategy such as SQ3R.

Glaciers (The Library of Landforms Series). Isaac Nadeau. 2006. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades 3-5. In this book readers can learn about the types of glaciers found throughout the world, their formation, and how they shape the land, as well as life on or near glaciers. Each two-page spread covers a single topic. The headers and straightforward text make this a great book for practicing comprehension strategies, such as SQ3R.

Copyright November 2008. Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears is produced by an interdisciplinary team from Ohio State University (OSU), College of Education and Human Ecology; the Ohio Resource Center (ORC) for Mathematics, Science, and Reading; the Byrd Polar Research Center; COSI (Center for Science and Industry) Columbus; the Upper Arlington Public Library (UAPL); and the National Science Digital Library (NSDL). This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0733024. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. highlights from beyond penguins & polar bears http://beyondpenguins.nsdl.org

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Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears - Fall 2008 Highlights  

This document provides highlights from the Water, ice, and Snow issue of the Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears online magazine. Included are a...

Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears - Fall 2008 Highlights  

This document provides highlights from the Water, ice, and Snow issue of the Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears online magazine. Included are a...

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