Energy and the Polar Environment
Hi ghlights From Issue 7 (October 2008) Antarctica: Wind Turbines. Photo courtesy of elisfanclub, Flickr.
Table of Contents Energy and the Polar Environment Issue 7 (October 2008) Science Content Knowledge
Solar Energy, Albedo, and the Polar Regions
By Kimberly Lightle
Literacy Content Knowledge
Note Taking: Enhancing the Ability to Comprehend Nonfiction Text
By Tracey Allen and Clarissa Reeson
The Shiniest Moon
By Stephen Whitt
Common Misconceptions About Light, Heat, and the Sun
By Jessica Fries-Gaither
Science & Literacy: Lessons and Activities
Hands-on Lessons and Activities About Solar Energy
By Jessica Fries-Gaither
Across the Curriculum: Content Knowledge
Natural Resources at the Poles: A Story of Controversy and Debate
By Robert Payo
Across the Curriculum: Lessons and Activities
Teaching About Natural Resources and Energy Sources
By Jessica Fries-Gaither
Off the Bookshelf
Energy and the Polar Environment: Virtual Bookshelf
By Kate Hastings
Science Content Knowledge Solar Energy, Albedo, and the Polar Regions By Kimberly Lightle Did you know that the sun blasts more than a billion tons of matter out into space at millions of kilometers per hour? Ultimately, energy from the sun is the driving force behind weather and climate, and life on earth. But what kinds of energy come from the sun? How does that energy travel through space? And what happens when it reaches earth? RADIANT ENERGY The sun emits many forms of electromagnetic radiation in varying quantities. About 43 percent of the total radiant energy emitted from the sun is in the visible parts of the spectrum. The bulk of the remainder lies in the near-infrared (49 percent) and ultraviolet section (7 percent). Less than 1 percent of solar radiation is emitted as xrays, gamma waves, and radio waves. The transfer of energy from the sun across nearly empty space (remember that space is a vacuum) is accomplished primarily by radiation. Radiation is the transfer of energy by electromagnetic wave motion.
NASA Sun Earth. Photo courtesy of NASA Goddard Photo and Video, Flickr.
FIRST STOP: EARTH'S ATMOSPHERE Once the sun's energy reaches earth, it is intercepted first by the atmosphere. A small part of the sun's energy is directly absorbed, particularly by certain gases such as ozone and water vapor. Some of the sun's energy is reflected back to space by clouds and the earth's surface. Most of the radiation, however, is absorbed by the earth's surface. When the radiation is absorbed by a substance, the atoms in the substance move faster and the substance becomes warm to the touch. The absorbed energy is transformed into heat energy. This heat energy plays an
important role in regulating the temperature of the earth's crust, surface waters, and lower atmosphere. Every surface on earth absorbs and reflects energy at varying degrees, based on its color and texture. Dark-colored objects absorb more visible radiation; light-colored objects reflect more visible radiation. Shiny or smooth objects reflect more, while dull or rough objects absorb more. Differences in reflection impact temperature, weather, and climate. REFLECT OR ABSORB? Scientists use the term albedo to describe the percentage of solar radiation reflected back into space by an object or surface.
Science Content Knowledge A perfectly black surface has an albedo of 0 (all radiation is absorbed). A perfectly white surface has an albedo of 1.0 (all radiation is reflected). Different features of earth (such as snow, ice, tundra, ocean, and clouds) have different albedos. For example, land and ocean have low albedos (typically from 0.1 to 0.4) and absorb more energy than they reflect. Snow, ice, and clouds have high albedos (typically from 0.7 to 0.9) and reflect more energy than they absorb. Earth's average albedo is about 0.3. In other words, about 30 percent of incoming solar radiation is reflected back into space and 70 percent is absorbed.
A sensor aboard NASA's Terra satellite is now collecting detailed measurements of how much sunlight the earth's surface reflects back up into the atmosphere. By quantifying precisely our planet's albedo, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) is helping scientists understand and predict how various surface features influence both short-term weather patterns as well as longer-term climate trends. The colors in the image below emphasize the albedo over the earth's land surfaces, ranging from 0.0 to 0.4. Areas colored red show the brightest, most reflective regions; yellows and greens are intermediate values; and blues and violets show relatively dark surfaces. White indicates where no data were
available, and no albedo data are provided over the oceans. As shown in the image, the snow- and ice-covered Arctic has a high albedo. (Though no data were available, Antarctica would also have a high albedo.) Desert areas, such as the Sahara in Northern Africa, also reflect a great deal of radiation. Forested areas or areas with dark soil absorb more radiation and have lower albedos. Human and natural processes have changed the albedo of earth's land surfaces. For example, earth's average albedo was much higher during the last ice age than it is today. Human impacts such as deforestation, air pollution, and the decrease in Arctic sea ice have also affected albedo values. These changes alter the net amounts of energy absorbed and radiated back to space. EARTH'S RADIATION BUDGET Earth's radiation budget is a concept that helps us understand how much energy Earth receives from the Sun, and how much energy Earth radiates back to outer space.
Global Albedo. Photo courtesy of NASA Visible Earth, visibleearth.nasa.gov.
Changes in the earth's crust such as glaciation, deforestation, and polar ice melting alter the quantity and wavelength of electromagnetic absorption and reflection at the earth's surface.
Science Content Knowledge ICE, CLIMATE CHANGE, AND THE EARTH'S ENERGY BUDGET Ice affects the entire earth system in a variety of ways. In the ocean and at the land-sea boundary, ice prevents relatively warm ocean water from evaporating, transferring heat to the colder atmosphere and thereby increasing global air temperature. Ice also reflects sunlight, thus preventing additional heat from being absorbed by water or land. The ice-covered polar regions are colder than other places on earth, due in part to the high albedo of the snow and ice cover. As earth's climate warms, ice in the form of glaciers and sea ice has decreased dramatically. Data generated from satellites that monitor the formation of polar sea ice indicate that both coverage and thickness have decreased over the past three decades. Recent studies show that the world's highest glaciers (in the Himalayas) are receding at an average rate of 10 to 15 meters (33 to 49 feet) per year. A study released in June 2008 indicates that Arctic sea ice extent shrank to a record low in the summer of 2007. The decreasing extent of ice in the polar regions (in particular, the sea ice of the Arctic) is part of a positive feedback loop that
NASA Earth Energy Budget. Photo courtesy of NASA, Wikimedia Commons.
can accelerate climate change. Warmer temperatures melt snow and ice, which decreases earth's albedo, causing further warming and more melting. Human activities that create pollution also influence the energy balance. For example, when we burn coal, oil, wood, and other fuels, the carbon byproduct, soot, is released into the atmosphere and eventually deposited back on earth. The dark particles land on snow and ice, and decrease albedo. The darkened snow and ice absorb more radiation than pure snow and ice. In addition, as the snow and ice melt, the soot embedded in the snow is left behind and becomes more concentrated on the surface, further accelerating warming.
IN CONCLUSION There's no doubt about it without the sun's radiant energy, life on earth would not exist. But as the earth warms and polar ice declines, the balance of absorbed and reflected energy shifts - leading to further change. RESOURCES Earth's Albedo and Global Warming http:// www.teachersdomain.org/ resources/ipy07/sci/ess/ watcyc/albedo/index.html This interactive activity adapted from NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey illustrates the concept of albedo - the measure of how much solar radiation is reflected from Earth's surface.
Science Content Knowledge Earth's Cryosphere: The Arctic http:// www.teachersdomain.org/ resources/ipy07/sci/ess/ watcyc/cryoarctic/index.html This four-minute video segment adapted from NASA uses satellite imagery to provide an overview of the cryosphere (the frozen parts of the earth's surface) in the Northern Hemisphere, including the Arctic. Earth's Cryosphere: Antarctica http:// www.teachersdomain.org/ resources/ipy07/sci/ess/ watcyc/cryoantarctica/ index.html This video segment adapted from NASA uses satellite imagery to provide an overview of the cryosphere in the Antarctic.
Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis http://nsidc.com/ arcticseaicenews/index.html The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) provides the latest news, research, and analysis of Arctic sea ice. Sea Level: Ice Volume Changes http:// oceandrilling.coe.tamu.edu/ curriculum/Sea_Level/ Ice_Volume/activity.html This resource provides a simulation of icebergs and glaciers melting and the impact melting has on sea level. NATIONAL SCIENCE EDUCATION STANDARDS: SCIENCE CONTENT STANDARDS The entire National Science Education Standards document can be read online or
downloaded for free from the National Academies Press web site. The following excerpt was taken from Chapter 6, http:// books.nap.edu/openbook.php? record_id=4962&page=103. A study of energy, the sun, and albedo aligns with the Physical Science, Earth and Space Science, and the Science in Personal and Social Perspectives content standards of the National Science Education Standards: Physical Science (Content Standard B): Grades K-4 As a result of their activities in grades K-4, all students should develop an understanding of properties of objects and materials including light, heat, electricity, and magnetism. â€˘ Objects have many observable properties, including size, weight, shape, color, temperature, and the ability to
Science Content Knowledge react with other substances. Those properties can be measured using tools, such as rulers, balances, and thermometers. • Light travels in a straight line until it strikes an object. Light can be reflected by a mirror, refracted by a lens, or absorbed by the object. • Heat can be produced in many ways, such as burning, rubbing, or mixing one substance with another. Heat can move from one object to another by conduction. Physical Science (Content Standard B): Grades 5-8 As a result of their activities in grades 5-8, all students should develop an understanding of earth in the solar system. • The sun is the major source of energy for phenomena on the earth's surface, such as
growth of plants, winds, ocean currents, and the water cycle. • Seasons result from variations in the amount of the sun's energy hitting the surface, due to the tilt of the earth's rotation on its axis and the length of the day. Science in Personal and Social Perspectives (Content Standard F): Grades K-4 As a result of their activities in grades K-4, all students should develop an understanding of changes in environments. • Environments are the space, conditions, and factors that affect an individuals' and a populations' ability to survive and their quality of life. • Changes in environments can be natural or influenced by humans. Some changes are good, some are bad, and
some are neither good nor bad. • Some environmental changes occur slowly, and others occur rapidly. Science in Personal and Social Perspectives (Content Standard F): Grades 5-8 As a result of their activities in grades 5-8, all students should develop an understanding of natural hazards. • Human activities can induce hazards through resource acquisition, urban growth, land-use decisions, and waste disposal. Such activities can accelerate many natural changes.
BERG3. Photo courtesy of Patrick Rowe, U.S. Antarctic Program, National Science Foundation.
Literacy Content Knowledge Note Taking: Enhancing the Ability to Comprehend Nonfiction Text By Tracey Allen and Clarissa Reeson Note taking is a strategy that helps students to identify important information, increase vocabulary, and organize information in a systematic manner. More important, note taking provides the opportunity for students to link prior knowledge with new concepts,
thus fostering studentsâ€™ ability to comprehend difficult 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. 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
Left: Student writing in notebook. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock. Right: Student Writing. Photo courtesy of Stock4B, Stockbyte.
Literacy Content Knowledge
Note taking is a strategy that helps students to identify important information, increase vocabulary, and organize information in a systematic manner.
â€? Girl taking notes. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
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.
opportunities to practice before they are required to use the strategy independently.
Even though developing notetaking 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
Note It 3 Ways http://onramp.nsdl.org/eserv/ onramp:1281/ Note_It_3_Ways.pdf This template provides students an opportunity to practice note taking in conjunction with this month's Feature Story, on page 10, or other nonfiction text.
The following note-taking template will provide students with the opportunity to practice this strategy with this monthâ€™s Feature Story "Getting Warmer" (grades K-1 and 2-3) and "The Shiniest Moon" (grades 4-5) on page 10.
Note Taking Literacy Set http://rs1.contentclips.com/ipy/ fwd/ipy_0810_set_lit_6014.html This Content Clips set includes all of the materials you need to teach the strategy of note taking: this article (pdf document), printable and electronic book versions of "Getting Warmer" for grades K-1, 2-3, "The Shiniest Moon" for grades 4-5, and the student templates.
Feature Story The Shiniest Moon Stories for Students (and Teachers)! This nonfiction article is written for use with upper-elementary students (grades 4-5). Students learn about two of Saturn's moons, albedo, the relationship between heat absorption and temperature, and how decreasing sea ice in the Arctic actually contributes to further melting. The concepts and text structure of this article are challenging, and we recommend using the related activities to support student comprehension. At each grade level, the article is available in three forms. Printable pdf files allow you to print this story in either textonly or a foldable book format. Your students can read along as they listen to the text - a wonderful way to support struggling readers! Related resources provide suggestions for integrating this story with your science and literacy instruction. Interested in other nonfiction articles for your students? Browse all twenty sets from the Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears collection at http:// beyondpenguins.nsdl.org/ information.php?topic=stories.
By Stephen Whitt Far off in our solar system is the beautiful planet Saturn. Along with its lovely rings, Saturn is also surrounded by over 50 moons. Two of these moons tell an interesting story that can teach us something about our own planet Earth.
reflects 99 percent of the Sun's light back into space. Even though it is about the same distance from the Sun, it is much colder than Phoebe. The daytime temperature is around -330 degrees Fahrenheit! Why the difference? You can find out yourself with a simple experiment. Make a small hole in a pair of tennis balls (get an adult to help with this), and insert a thermometer into each hole.
Phoebe (FEE-bee) is the smaller and darker moon. Its dark, dusty surface (as dark as black ink) absorbs around 94 percent of the Sun's light. But it still isn't warm. Phoebe is so far from the Sun that its daytime temperature is a chilly -261 degrees Fahrenheit. Enceladus (in-SELL-uh-dus) is larger and much brighter. This moon is covered with ice, so it
Cover one tennis ball with white fabric, the other with black. Label the light ball "Enceladus"
Surface of Phoebe. Photo courtesy of NASA, Wikimedia Commons.
Surface of Enceladus. Photo courtesy of NASA, Wikimedia Commons.
Feature Story and the dark one "Phoebe" and place both "moons" under a warm lamp. Watch for a few minutes to see how the temperatures change. You'll probably find that "Phoebe" heated up much faster
than "Enceladus." White or shiny surfaces reflect more light than dark surfaces do, which means they don't get as hot. Dark surfaces absorb more light, making the temperature rise. Scientists have a word for how much or little light a surface reflects. They call it albedo. Shiny, ice-covered Enceladus reflects a lot of light. It has a very high albedo (around 99 percent). Dark, dust-covered Phoebe
Mertz Glacier. Photo courtesy of Jeff Schmaltz, Wikimedia Commons.
doesn't reflect very much light. It has a very low albedo (around 6 percent). What does this have to do with Earth? Just like Saturn's moons, Earth also reflects light. However, Earth is covered by many different surfaces, like oceans, ice, forests, and fields. Each of these surfaces has a different albedo. On average, Earth's albedo is around 30 percent. This number has changed during Earth's history, though. A SHINY EARTH During the ice ages, massive ice sheets covered much of Earth's land. Earth's albedo was much higher and so temperatures stayed low. Once it starts, this sort of effect can be hard to stop. First, temperatures go down. This causes ice to form, and that ice spreads across the land. The reflective ice bounces lots more sunlight back into
At the top of the world (NASA). Photo courtesy of pingnews.com, Flickr.
space, and temperatures drop even more. More ice forms, more sunlight bounces into space, and on and on and on. Today temperatures aren't dropping. Instead, global warming is making temperatures rise. This means that ice is melting, especially in the Arctic. Arctic ice covers dark ocean water. As temperatures rise, the ice melts, and more water is exposed to the Sun. Dark ocean water absorbs sunlight much better than ice. This makes temperatures go up even further. More ice melts, more ocean water is exposed, and on and on. If you were living on frozen Enceladus, you might welcome such a warming. But here on Earth, this runaway warming could cause big trouble. Polar bears and seals, not to mention the people who live in Arctic regions, depend on the sea ice
NEWICE. Photo courtesy of Mike Usher, U.S. Antarctic Program, National Science Foundation.
Feature Story Turn off lights and electrical appliances, and use more efficient light bulbs when you can. That saves electricity, and cuts the carbon dioxide coming from power plants. So save some shiny ice, and some money on the electric bill. Turn out that extra light! Glossary absorb - to take in albedo - a measure of how much light a surface can reflect Polar Bear. Photo courtesy of Alan Wilson, Wikimedia Commons.
for their existence. If the ice goes away, an ancient way of life goes away with it. So what can we do? Global warming can seem overwhelming. Even adults (who should know better) spend more time arguing about the details than trying to solve the problem. One thing we know for sure is that human beings are putting too much of a gas called carbon dioxide into the air. We make carbon dioxide whenever we burn anything, but most of our carbon dioxide comes from burning coal, oil, and gasoline. And carbon dioxide makes temperatures rise. There are simple things we all can do to slow global warming down at least a little. Take fewer trips. Buy smaller cars. Walk instead of riding; that helps, too.
reflect - to bounce back READING STRATEGY TEMPLATES This article provides an opportunity for students in grades 2-5 to practice the strategy of note taking with content text. The following templates can be used in conjunction with "The Shiniest Moon" and "Getting Warmer." For more information about this strategy, please see "Note Taking: Enhancing the Ability to Comprehend Nonfiction Text," on page 8. Note It 3 Ways http://onramp.nsdl.org/eserv/ onramp:1281/ Note_It_3_Ways.pdf This template aids students in taking notes from content text. Students record vocabulary terms, their meanings, and create a graphic representation for each.
RELATED ACTIVITIES These lessons and activities can help you integrate this article into your science and literacy instruction. The activity suggested in the story (creating models of Phoebe and Enceladus) will help students in grades 4 and 5 comprehend the difference in heat absorption. In the K-1 and 2-3 stories, students create pockets out of black and white construction paper, place thermometers inside, and place both pockets under a light source (a lamp or bright sunlight). This allows them to observe that dark colors absorb more light than light colors. Of course, please supervise students working with lamps or other light sources! Light Absorption (Grades K-2 with modifications) http://www-tc.pbs.org/saf/ 1404/teaching/1404_1.pdf Students investigate how color affects absorption and temperature by creating pockets of black and white construction paper. While the plan is designed for students in grades 5-9, teachers can use the basic activity with a whole class in the primary grades. For more lessons and activities to accompany this story, please refer to "Hands-on Science and Literacy Activities about Solar Energy," on page 17.
Misconceptions Common Misconceptions About Light, Heat, and the Sun By Jessica Fries-Gaither Light is a complex concept that lends itself to misconceptions among teachers and students alike. These misconceptions may form as individuals attempt to make sense of the natural world, or as a result of the difference between scientific and everyday language. In other cases, misconceptions may actually form or be strengthened as a result of instruction. Once formed, these misconceptions can be tenacious - persisting even in the face of discrepant events or careful instruction. Research has documented that students may
MISCONCEPTIONS Misconceptions about light include the nature of light, the speed at which light travels, the behavior of light, image formation, and color. In keeping with our focus on the albedo effect, we focus on the reflection and absorption of light as well as the light from the sun.
GOLDENSUNLIGHT. Photo courtesy of Steven Profaizer, U.S. Antarctic Program, National Science Foundation.
be able to provide the "correct" answer in science class yet still not abandon their previously formed idea. Even though targeting student misconceptions is difficult, teachers should be cognizant of their students' beliefs before, during, and after instruction. Formative assessment can
A common misconception is that light can only be reflected from shiny surfaces (such as a mirror). Students may also believe that an object cannot absorb and reflect light - it must do one or the other. Of course, the correct concept is that all objects absorb and reflect light to different degrees. Our ability to see objects depends on the reflection of light!
provide insight and guidance for planning lessons and meeting student needs. In this article, we discuss some common misconceptions about light, heat, and the sun. We also provide tools for formative assessment and ideas for teaching the correct scientific concepts.
Another related misconception is that the earth gets heat from the sun. The sun is actually too far from the earth to heat it directly. Instead, the light from the sun is reflected or absorbed by objects on earth. Absorbed light usually increases the energy in an object, causing the object to heat up.
Misconceptions PROBING FOR STUDENT UNDERSTANDING What do your students think? A formative assessment probe from Volume 1 of Uncovering Student Ideas in Science (NSTA Press, 2005), helps you understand your students' beliefs about the reflection of light. In the probe "Can It Reflect Light?" students are asked to decide which objects will reflect light and then share their thinking. The probe includes related research and suggestions for instruction and assessment. In addition, we've followed the model used by Page Keeley and coauthors in the three volumes of Uncovering Student Ideas in Science (copyright 2005-2008
by NSTA Press) and created a similar probe to elicit students' ideas about the energy from the sun. What Comes from the Sun? http://onramp.nsdl.org/eserv/ onramp:1241/ What_Comes_From_the_Sun.pdf This formative assessment probe, modeled (with permission from NSTA Press) after those found in the three volumes of Uncovering Student Ideas in Science, is designed to assess student misconceptions about solar energy.
TEACHING THE SCIENCE While identifying student misconceptions is fairly straightforward, creating conceptual change is not. Researchers recommend using a hands-on approach and providing adequate time and repeated activities to create the conditions necessary for conceptual change. However, it is important to understand that children may be quite resistant to change even when these suggestions are carefully followed. In some situations, researchers found that students developed two parallel explanations for scientific events: one for science class and one for the "real world!" Instead of becoming discouraged, teachers
Check out Volumes 1, 2 & 3 of Uncovering Student Ideas in Science at: http://www.nsta.org/store/ product_detail.aspx? id=10.2505/9780873552554 http://www.nsta.org/store/ product_detail.aspx? id=10.2505/9780873552738 http://www.nsta.org/store/ product_detail.aspx? id=10.2505/9781933531243 Sunset, Antarctica. Photo courtesy of Ken Ryan, U.S. Antarctic Program, National Science Foundation.
Misconceptions highlighted a few lessons below, and more can be found in "Hands-on Science and Literacy Activities About Solar Energy," on page 25. Content area reading, such as our Feature Story, on page 10, and titles from our Virtual Bookshelf, on page 29, can extend and supplement the hands-on inquiry.
Bright light at midnight. Photo courtesy of madpai, Flickr.
should be aware of the ideas that students bring with them to science and how these might influence instruction and learning. It is also important to remember that some of the misconceptions regarding light may be appropriate for students' current developmental level. Concepts such as reflection and absorption are difficult and cannot be easily visualized. While they may be introduced in the elementary grades, teachers should remember that students will develop an increasingly sophisticated understanding over the years and that complete mastery of these concepts is not to be expected at this point. However, there are steps that elementary teachers can take to ensure that students begin to
develop correct scientific concepts. Evaluating lesson plans, textbooks, and children's literature for correct use of terminology and concepts is an important step in promoting scientific understanding. An awareness of the role instruction can play in the formation of misconceptions is also important. For example, when you teach reflection of light, do you include shiny and dull objects in investigations? If students always talk about reflection in the context of mirrors, they are much more likely to believe that only shiny objects reflect light. Lessons and activities that provide hands-on experiences or simulations of these concepts can help students develop a correct understanding. We've
Continual formative assessment and dialogue about these topics will help you understand what your students are learning and how to best plan future instruction. Conversations and questioning techniques can also be used to guide and shape student understanding. LESSONS AND ACTIVITIES Teach Engineering: Investigating Light (Grades 3-5) http:// www.teachengineering.org/ view_lesson.php?url=http:// www.teachengineering.com/ collection/cub_/lessons/ cub_soundandlight/ cub_soundandlight_lesson6.xml In this lesson, students learn the five words that describe how light interacts with objects: "transparent," "translucent," "opaque," "reflection" and "refraction."
Misconceptions Teach Engineering: Light Scavengers (Grades 3-5) http:// www.teachengineering.org/ view_activity.php?url=http:// www.teachengineering.com/ collection/cub_/activities/ cub_soundandlight/ cub_soundandlight_lesson6_acti vity1.xml In this activity, students examine various materials and investigate how they interact with light. Students use five vocabulary words (translucent, transparent, opaque, reflection and refraction) to describe how light interacts with the objects. A Solar Energy Cycle (Grades 3-5) http://www.nsta.org/store/ product_detail.aspx? id=10.2505/4/sc07_044_07_26 This article, from the National Science Teachers Association journal Science and Children, describes a learning cycle (exploration, term introduction, and concept application) that was developed to help sixthgrade students understand that Earth gets visible light but not heat from the Sun.The article is free for NSTA members and can be purchased for $0.99 by nonmembers.
Teach Engineering: Let the Sun Shine! (Grade 3-5) http://teachengineering.org/ view_lesson.php?url=http:// www.teachengineering.com/ collection/cub_/lessons/ cub_energy2/ cub_energy2_lesson09.xml Students learn how the sun can be used for energy. They learn about passive solar heating, lighting and cooking, and active solar engineering technologies (such as photovoltaic arrays and concentrating mirrors) that generate electricity. Students investigate the thermal energy storage capacities of test materials. They learn about radiation and convection as they build a model solar water heater and determine how much it can heat water in a given amount of time. In another activity, students build and compare the performance of four solar cooker designs. In an associated literacy activity, students investigate how people live "off the grid" using solar power. Teach Engineering: Cooking with the Sun (Grades 3-5) http://teachengineering.org/ view_activity.php?url=http:// www.teachengineering.com/ collection/cub_/activities/ cub_energy2/ cub_energy2_lesson09_activity3. xml Students learn about using renewable energy from the sun for heating and cooking as they
build and compare the performance of four solar cooker designs. They explore the concepts of insulation, reflection, absorption, conduction and convection. Give and Take (Grades 3-5) http://www.exploratorium.edu/ snacks/give_and_take/index.html Using a postcard made of temperature-sensitive liquid crystal material, students can monitor temperature changes. These changes show that dark materials absorb and reemit the energy contained in light more readily than light-colored materials. NATIONAL SCIENCE EDUCATION STANDARDS Assessing and targeting student misconceptions about light, heat, and the sun meets the Physical Science Content Standard and the Earth and Space Science Content Standard for grades K-4 and 5-8 of the National Science Education Standards. Read the entire National Science Education Standards online for free or register to download the free PDF. The content standards are found in Chapter 6, http:// books.nap.edu/openbook.php? record_id=4962&page=103.
Science & Literacy: Lessons Hands-on Science and Literacy Activities About Solar Energy By Jessica Fries-Gaither Covered by ice, water, and land and subject to seasonal extremes in solar radiation, the polar regions are an ideal context for introducing concepts of solar energy and albedo. Of course, these concepts will be covered in greater depth in upper elementary than in the primary grades. We've highlighted primary lessons that focus on understanding the sun's energy, using a thermometer, and discovering the idea that dark colors absorb more energy. Students in upper elementary test various substances and soil types and
begin to make the connection to the difference in albedo between ice, water, and land. You may wish to connect these activities to a study of seasons in the polar regions. Our article "Investigating the Cause and Effect Relationships of Seasonal Change," found at http:// beyondpenguins.nsdl.org/issue/ column.php? date=May2008&departmentid=li teracy&columnid=literacy! lessons, highlights lessons and activities for introducing seasonal concepts to your students. The Virtual Bookshelf from that same issue recommends children's literature on the topic, found at http:// beyondpenguins.nsdl.org/issue/ column.php? date=May2008&departmentid=li teracy&columnid=literacy! bookshelf.
Literacy connections to these lessons and activities include making question-and-answer books to present the information gained from hands-on exploration and research. As always, our Virtual Bookshelf and Feature Story provide highquality, nonfiction children's literature to supplement the hands-on activities. For each science lesson, we've included the appropriate National Science Education Standards. You can read the entire National Science Education Standards online for free or register to download the free PDF. The content standards are found in Chapter 6, http:// books.nap.edu/openbook.php? record_id=4962&page=103.
Port Side View. Photo courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey, Flickr.
Science & Literacy: Lessons GRADES K-2 These lessons meet the National Science Education Standards: Science as Inquiry Content Standard, Physical Science Content Standard, and Earth and Space Science Content Standard. The Warmth of the Sun (Grades K-2) http://www.sciencenetlinks.com/lessons.cfm? BenchmarkID=4&DocID=329 This introductory lesson helps students understand the sun's role in heating and warming earth's air, land, and water. Through indoor and outdoor activities, students will make qualitative approximations of heat and will gain a basic understanding of the concepts surrounding the sun's heat energy. Our Super Star (Grades K-5) http://www.teachersdomain.org/resources/ess05/ sci/ess/eiu/lp_superstar/index.html A multiday lesson plan about the sun. Part III, in which students create solar ovens to cook s'mores, is most relevant to our topic, solar energy. A related resource is the Cooking Cookies with Solar Power QuickTime video, found at http:// www.teachersdomain.org/resource/ NEARSCOTTBASE. Photo courtesy of Robyn Waserman, U.S. Antarctic Program, National Science Foundation.
phy03.sci.phys.mfe.zsolar/, which tests two homemade solar cookers. Light Absorption (Grades K-2 with modifications) http://www-tc.pbs.org/saf/1404/teaching/ 1404_1.pdf Students investigate how color affects absorption and temperature by creating pockets of black and white construction paper. While the plan is designed for students in grades 5-9, teachers can use the basic activity with a whole class in the primary grades. To integrate literacy skills into these lessons, try the following: Creating Question and Answer Books through Guided Research (Grades K-2) http://www.readwritethink.org/lessons/ lesson_view.asp?id=353 As students investigate a topic (the sun and its energy), they use nonfiction texts and the Internet to generate questions and gather information. Students use KWL charts and interactive writing to organize their information. Periodic reviews of gathered information become the backdrop to
Science & Literacy: Lessons ongoing inquiry, discussion, reporting, and confirming information. The lesson culminates with the publishing of a collaborative questionand-answer book, which reports on information about the chosen topic, with each student contributing one page to the book. This lesson meets the following NCTE/IRA Standards: 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12. GRADES 3-5 These lessons meet the National Science Education Standards: Science as Inquiry Content Standard for grades K-4 and 5-8, Physical Science Content Standard for grades K-4 and 5-8, and Earth and Space Science Content Standard for grades K-4 and 5-8. Our Super Star (Grades K-5) http://www.teachersdomain.org/resources/ess05/ sci/ess/eiu/lp_superstar/index.html A multiday lesson plan about the sun. Part III, in which students create solar ovens to cook s'mores, is most relevant to our topic, solar energy. A related resource is the Cooking Cookies with
Solar Power QuickTime video, found here http:// www.teachersdomain.org/resource/ phy03.sci.phys.mfe.zsolar/, which tests two homemade solar cookers. Investigating Radiation (Grades 3-5) http://www.ucar.edu/learn/1_1_2_5t.htm In this lesson, students investigate how different surfaces absorb heat. The lesson is designed for grades 5-9, but the experimental set-up can easily be used with upper-elementary students. Needed modifications may include holding a class discussion instead of having students answer the questions independently and in writing. The lesson also provides the opportunity for students to design and test their own materials. The Albedo Effect & the Warming of the Arctic (Grades 4-5) http://www.uen.org/Lessonplan/preview.cgi? LPid=20544 Students will explain how color affects the ability of a material to reflect light and absorb heat. They will explain how less sea ice (and more dark ocean water) in the Arctic could raise Arctic and global temperatures.
Science & Literacy: Lessons
Caribou at sunset. Taken on a nightwalk in Pykeija, Norway. Photo courtesy of Sami Keinanen via Flickr.
To integrate literacy skills into these lessons, try the following: Exploring Cause and Effect Using Expository Texts About Natural Disasters (Grades 3-5) http://www.readwritethink.org/lessons/ lesson_view.asp?id=925 This lesson helps third- through fifth-grade students explore the nature and structure of expository texts focusing on cause and effect. Students begin by activating prior knowledge about cause and effect; the teacher then models discovering these relationships in a text and recording the findings in a graphic organizer. Students work in small groups to apply what they learned using related books and then write paragraphs outlining the cause-and-effect relationships they have found. Substitute texts about solar energy or sea ice instead of natural disasters. This lesson meets the following NCTE/IRA Standards: 1, 3, 5, 6, 11, 12.
Creating Question and Answer Books through Guided Research (Grades 3-5 with modifications) http://www.readwritethink.org/lessons/ lesson_view.asp?id=353 As students investigate a topic (the sun and its energy), they use nonfiction texts and the Internet to generate questions and gather information. Students use KWL charts and interactive writing to organize their information. Periodic reviews of gathered information become the backdrop to ongoing inquiry, discussion, reporting, and confirming information. The lesson culminates with the publishing of a collaborative questionand-answer book, which reports on information about the chosen topic, with each student contributing one page to the book. While this lesson appears in ReadWriteThinkâ€™s K-2 grade band, it can be easily modified for use with upper- elementary students. This lesson meets the following NCTE/IRA Standards: 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12.
Across the Curriculum: content Natural Resources at the Poles: A Story of Controversy and Debate By Robert Payo Natural resources are materials derived from nature that provide value in meeting the needs of people. These materials can range from basic elements of the earth such as water, minerals, timber, and soil to products originating from fossil fuels, such as petroleum oil, natural gas, and coal. RENEWABLE VERSUS NONRENEWABLE RESOURCES In his lecture "Resources Literacy," found at http:// webcast.berkeley.edu/ course_details.php? seriesid=1906978303, George Brimhall, geology professor at the University of California at Berkeley, uses the idea of "recharging time periods," i.e., the period it takes to replenish a resource, to determine if a resource is renewable or nonrenewable. Among energy sources, hydroelectric, solar, and wind are deemed renewable since they are replenished in a short amount of time. Because fossil fuels take a long time to
Global Warming. Photo courtesy of Mikael Miettinen, Flickr.
replenish, they are considered nonrenewable.
question, found here http:// tonto.eia.doe.gov/state/.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), over 85 percent of all energy use in the United States can be attributed to three nonrenewable resources - oil, gas, and coal. Eight percent of energy consumption comes from nuclear power. Renewable energy sources (hydroelectric, solar, geothermal, wind, biomass) make up 7 percent of total use. Collectively, this energy consumption can be categorized into four main sectors: industry, transportation, residential and commercial, and electricity.
Related Online Resources
Locally, where does your energy come from? The EIA site has energy information for each state so that you and your students can find the answer to that
â€˘ Energy Kid's Page http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/kids/ This site contains background information, a history of energy, activities for grades
â€˘ Fossil Energy: How Fossil Fuels Were Formed http://www.fossil.energy.gov/ education/energylessons/ coal/gen_howformed.html This one-page, illustrated article describes the formation of fossil fuels. There are links to more information about three specific fuels - coal, oil and gas. This web site is included in the NSDL K-6 Science Refreshers collection, found here http://nsdl.org/ refreshers/science/.
Across the Curriculum: content K-7, and games. It was developed by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. â€˘ National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) http://www.nrel.gov/learning/ re_basics.html NREL is the nation's center for renewable energy research and technology. The laboratory offers basic information on renewable energy sources, professional development programs for teachers (including summer internships at the lab), and student resources at the high school and college level. NATURAL RESOURCES AND THE POLAR REGIONS Tapping into the fragile ecosystems of the polar regions for natural resources is a controversial issue. There are no simple solutions but many
different perspectives from around the globe. Climate change, diminishing fossil fuel reserves, increasing greenhouse gas emissions, rising gas prices, dramatic changes in world supply/demand, and the greater need for global cooperation all play a part in this complicated puzzle. The poles are at the center of many of these issues. RESOURCES OF THE ARCTIC Warmer temperatures in the region and melting sea ice have made it easier to extract resources from more sections of the Arctic. As a consequence, the Arctic's role in resource acquisition and management will continue to grow in the decades ahead, especially for the nations that border the Arctic Circle. The Alaska Pipeline transports over 2 million barrels of oil a day from fields in northern Alaska.
Alaska Pipeline. Photo courtesy of toffehoff, Flickr.
Since it went into operation in 1977, the pipeline has transported over 15 billion barrels. This August, the Alaskan legislature approved the creation of the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline, paralleling the oil pipeline south to Fairbanks and cutting through Canada to connect to existing natural gas lines. Completion is expected in 2018. This new project will undoubtedly be closely scrutinized as the tension between environmental concerns and the everincreasing need for energy sources rages on. Other recent events have brought the Arctic further into the spotlight. ScienceDaily cited a recent U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) report assessing the amount of petroleum resources available in the Arctic Circle region:
Across the Curriculum: content
Warmer temperatures in the region and melting sea ice have made it easier to extract resources from more sections of the Arctic.
The area north of the Arctic Circle has an estimated 90 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil, 1,670 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable natural gas, and 44 billion barrels of technically recoverable natural gas liquids in 25 geologically defined areas thought to have potential for petroleum. The USGS report, found here http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/ 2008/3049/fs2008-3049.pdf, estimates that significant amounts of oil and natural gas resources can be found in Arctic Alaska, East Barents Basins (an off-shore area near Russia), Amerasia Basin and other sections of the region. While reports indicate the vast oil and gas reserves available in
ICEBERG. Photo courtesy of Peter Rejcek, U.S. Antarctic Program, National Science Foundation.
some areas of the Arctic, groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council are concerned that drilling could open the doors for extracting other natural resources, such as timber and minerals, in these areas as well as protected areas. A particularly debated area, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northern Alaska, is home to over 240 different species of wildlife. Recently, Russia took steps to explore and protect its natural resource interests in the Arctic with an increased military presence and the approval of government sanctioned companies to develop oil reserves. As climate change melts sea ice and opens more passageways into the Arctic Ocean, Russia may take the lead
in oil exploration and extraction. Presently, Russia is the leading producer of nickel, with mining operations in copper, cobalt, and other minerals in northern regions of the country. While changes continue in the Arctic, the European Union (EU) has responded to climate change by taking ambitious steps to increase the use of renewable energies by 20 percent by the year 2020. Northern countries such as Denmark, leader in wind power production in the EU, and Norway, a leader in solar energy technology, will play a significant role in this effort. From inflatable solar panels to harnessing human body heat for a railway station in Stockholm, some of the most interesting innovations 23
Across the Curriculum: content for conserving and preserving the environment and international scientific research.
South Pole and the flags for the original 12 signatory nations to Antarctic Treaty. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
in renewable energy can be found in Europe, as seen in these pictures, found here http:// www.forbes.com/2008/06/18/ european-energy-innovationstech-innovationeu08cx_vr_0618energy_slide_2.html? thisspeed=25000&boxes=custo m, from Forbes.com. Related Online Resources â€˘ USGS Podcast on the Arctic Assessment Report http://www.usgs.gov/ corecast/podcasts/audio/ ep55/20080723_55_ArcticAss essment.mp3?from=rss A brief interview with two U.S. Geological Survey scientists on the report. Other podcasts are available at http:// www.usgs.gov/podcasts/.
â€˘ Arctic Circle http://arcticcircle.uconn.edu/ index.php A collaborative effort through the University of Connecticut, this web site addresses environmental issues of the Arctic from the perspectives of natural resources, history and culture, and social equity and environmental justice. RESOURCES IN ANTARCTICA AND THE ANTARCTIC TREATY Like the Arctic's resources, Antarctica's natural resources are on the radar from both environmental- and energyrelated perspectives. In 1959, the Antarctic Treaty was signed by 12 countries to ensure that Antarctica remained a war-free land, protected with provisions
The treaty's success is evidenced by 34 countries joining the first 12 as members and passage of provisions to protect seals (1972), to conserve Antarctic marine living resources (1982), and to uphold an agreed protocol for environmental protection (1991). The protocol, known as the Madrid Protocol, stipulates a moratorium on mining in Antarctica for 50 years. Given the continent's stores of coal, natural gas, oil, and minerals, the Madrid Protocol recognized the need for strongly defined measures beyond the original treaty and was finally approved collectively by treaty nations in 1998. The moratorium will come up for review in 2048. Australia's territories claim 42 percent of the Antarctic, making them a key player in the continent's future. A part of the country's Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, the Australian Antarctic Division is well aware of the impact humans have had on Antarctica. It shares with other countries its concerns about tourism, insufficient waste disposal, and use of nonrenewable energy sources by the science stations on the continent - counter to environmental measures defined
Across the Curriculum: content in the Antarctic Treaty. As a result, Australia has stepped up its use of renewable energy alternatives to run its operations. Capitalizing on the strong winds of the Antarctic, Australia has installed wind turbines at its research stations. In 2006, Australia's Mawson station became the first station in Antarctica to utilize wind turbines to collect hydrogen as an energy source. The energy generated by wind turbines is used to electrolyze, or split, water into its Antarctica: Wind Turbines. Photo courtesy of elisfanclub, Flickr.
components of hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen is then stored under high pressure as an energy source that can be used even in colder months when fossil fuel is less accessible. Belgium has also responded to the need for alternative fuel sources by creating the first zero emissions Antarctic science station, completely supported by renewable energy. Undoubtedly, our global future both in terms of energy and environmental sustainability will be strongly tied to the future of the poles.
Related Online Resources â€˘ Australian Antarctic Division: Renewable Energy http://www.aad.gov.au/ default.asp?casid=24420 In addition to this section on renewable energy, this site has background information on Antarctica and on Australia's science stations. â€˘ Antarctica Fact Sheet: EIA http://www.eia.doe.gov/ emeu/cabs/antarctica.html From the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the U.S. Department of Energy, a brief overview of Antarctica, energy use, and the effects of climate change.
Across the Curriculum: Lessons Teaching About Natural Resources and Energy Sources By Jessica Fries-Gaither The study of natural resources, including renewable and nonrenewable energy sources,
is a great cross-curricular unit. Uniting science, social studies, and other subject areas, it can also be framed in the context of your state or community. We've highlighted lessons that fall into four categories: Introducing Natural Resources, Renewable and Nonrenewable Resources, Specific Energy Sources, and General Energy
INTRODUCING NATURAL RESOURCES Everything Comes From Something (Grades K-2) http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/ lessons/16/gk2/everything.html Students and their families use a multitude of products every day. These products are manufactured in part or entirely from natural
Lesson Plans. For information about a comprehensive energy curriculum, please see "Teaching About Energy: The NEED Project" in the Across the Curriculum department of this issue, found at http:// beyondpenguins.nsdl.org/issue/ column.php? date=October2008&departmenti d=curriculum&columnid=curricul um!development.
resources. In this lesson students will learn about renewable and nonrenewable resources and trace resources' points of origin by constructing and analyzing a product map. Use this specially designed template to help students organize their thinking. Agatha's Feather Bed: Not Just Another Wild Goose Story (Grades K-2) http://www.kidseconposters.com/keb/Title %20List%20Poster%20Set%20A/Natural %20Resources/Agathas%20Feather%20Bed.htm This literature-based lesson plan introduces the concept of natural resources to primary students. Use the Everything Comes From Something template for a lesson extension, found at http:// onramp.nsdl.org/eserv/onramp:16130/ Everything_Comes_From_Something.pdf. Where Did that Pencil Come From? The Study of Natural Resources (Grades 3-5) http://www.econedlink.org/lessons/index.cfm? lesson=EM303&page=teacher The students will determine what goods can be produced from physical features such as rivers, lakes, mountains, and plains by looking at maps. Additionally, they will discuss the process these goods go through from nature to consumer.
NEWICE. Photo courtesy of Mike Usher, U.S. Antarctic Program, National Science Foundation.
Across the Curriculum: Lessons RENEWABLE AND NONRENEWABLE RESOURCES Energy Teacher Resource Guide (Grades K-2) http://www.infinitepower.org/pdf/ 96-1267_K-3_Res_Guide.pdf Learning centers and activities organized around the following units: What is Energy; Finding Energy in Your School and at Home; Protecting Earth's Resources: Renewable vs. Nonrenewable Energy; Using Energy Wisely in Your Community; and Telling Others about Energy. Use the handout for the Fossil Fuel Hunt, adapted from one of the unit's activities. Energy Comes in Many Shapes, Sizes, and Forms (Grades K-2) http://www.klrn.org/planetpatrol/lesson3.pdf Students will compare and contrast renewable and nonrenewable energy sources. Energy Sources and Use (Grades 3-5) http://www.sciencenetlinks.com/lessons.cfm? BenchmarkID=8&DocID=13 In this lesson plan, students distinguish between renewable and nonrenewable sources of energy, investigate a variety of renewable energy resources, and compare the benefits and drawbacks of each. SPECIFIC ENERGY SOURCES COAL • Fossil Fuel Hunt (Grades K-5) http://onramp.nsdl.org/eserv/onramp:16131/ Fossil_Fuel_Search.pdf Students repeatedly hunt for coal (represented by pennies) to learn about scarcity and nonrenewable resources. • Chocolate Chip Cookie Mining (Grades K-5) http://www.eia.doe.gov/kids/resources/ teachers/pdfs/CookieMining_PriElem.pdf
Antarctica: Wind Turbines. Photo courtesy of elisfanclub, Flickr.
Students mine for coal (chocolate chips) to learn about the effects of mining and land reclamation. From the NEED Project. WIND • Blow Wind, Blow! (Grades K-2) http://www.pbs.org/parents/curiousgeorge/ activities/pdf/CGDG_04_science.pdf Explore how wind moves objects. This section includes classroom investigations (pdf, lesson plans), recommended books, and reproducible activity sheets. Part of the PBS Curious George Discovery Guide. • Spin the Saltine (Grades K-2) http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/kids/resources/ teachers/pdfs/SaltinePrimary.pdf Students model turbines and windmills with saltine crackers. From the NEED Project. • Thar She Blows (Grades 3-5) http://teachengineering.org/view_lesson.php? url=http://www.teachengineering.com/ collection/cub_/lessons/cub_energy2/ cub_energy2_lesson07.xml
Across the Curriculum: Lessons WATER • Water, Water Everywhere (Grades K-2) http://www.econedlink.org/lessons/index.cfm? lesson=EM166&page=teacher In this lesson, students will identify water and land as examples of natural resources, investigate sources of water, and identify some ways in which humans make use of water as an economic resource, specifically for agriculture, transportation and recreation.
Antarctica: Wind Turbines. Photo courtesy of elisfanclub, Flickr.
Students learn about wind as a source of renewable energy and explore the advantages and disadvantages of wind turbines and wind farms. They also learn about the effectiveness of wind turbines in varying weather conditions and how engineers work to create wind power that is cheaper, more reliable, and safer for wildlife. SUN • Our Super Star (Grades K-5) http://www.teachersdomain.org/resources/ ess05/sci/ess/eiu/lp_superstar/index.html A multiday lesson plan about the sun. Part III, in which students create solar ovens to cook s'mores, is most relevant to the topic of solar energy. A related resource is the Cooking Cookies with Solar Power QuickTime video, found at http://www.teachersdomain.org/ resource/phy03.sci.phys.mfe.zsolar/, which tests two homemade solar cookers.
• A River Ran Through It (Grades 3-5) http://teachengineering.org/view_lesson.php? url=http://www.teachengineering.com/ collection/cub_/lessons/cub_energy2/ cub_energy2_lesson08.xml Students learn how water is used to generate electricity. They investigate water's potential-tokinetic energy transformation in hands-on activities about falling water and waterwheels. During the activities, they take measurements, calculate averages, and graph results. Students also learn the history of the waterwheel and how engineers use water turbines in hydroelectric power plants today. They discover the advantages and disadvantages of hydroelectric power. In a literacy activity, students learn and write about an innovative new hydroelectrical power generation technology. GENERAL ENERGY LESSON PLANS National Energy Education Development Project (Grades K-5) http://www.need.org/ NEED (National Energy Education Development) produces comprehensive energy curricula for grades K-12. The web site includes downloadable infobooks on a variety of topics and related activities. Teachers can become members and order kits and other materials.
Off The Bookshelf Energy and the Polar Environment: Virtual Bookshelf By Kate Hastings Our sun. The source of all life on earth, and all energy, too. Its light heats the air in our atmosphere. Plants absorb energy from light and become fuel for animals. Plants and animals die and decay, enriching our soil - some becoming coal or petroleum through geological time.
The polar regions are mysterious when it comes to energy. The sun's rays are less direct than in other parts of the world. Some times the sun shines all day and night, and at other times it is completely absent for weeks. Ice and snow cover much of these regions, insulating themselves against heat and reflecting precious rays back into the sky. Yet as the earth warms and ice in the Arctic and Antarctica melts, the exposed land and water are able to absorb more energy, and promote further melting. While elementary students aren't quite ready to tackle this cycle, they can be
introduced to the basic scientific principles of absorption and reflection of light. This month's books are organized into three categories: Light, Energy Sources, and, of course, Penguins and Polar Bears. As always, we focus almost exclusively on nonfiction. This genre, while often underrepresented in the primary and elementary years, can capture student interest, build motivation, and set an authentic purpose for reading: to learn how the world works. It also promotes the integration of literacy skills into the science curriculum.
LIGHT Use these books in conjunction with the lessons and activities featured in "Hands-on Science and Literacy Activities About Solar Energy" on page 17. Light: Shadows, Mirrors and Rainbows. Natalie M. Rosinsky. 2003. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades K-2. This book teaches us that colors are reflections of light. If we see shapes or shadows in a dark room, that means there is at least some visible light in the room. Smooth and shiny surfaces reflect light the best - with mirrors reflecting almost all of the light that hits them. The moon is bright but does not generate its own light similar to the way the poles reflect light with their massive amounts of snow and ice.
Light. Becky Olien. 2003. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades 1-3. Introduces light, its behavior, and uses. Each page is devoted to a single topic, meaning that a single page could be used to introduce a particular concept, such as reflection. A hands-on activity at the end of the book provides an opportunity to investigate shadows.
Off The Bookshelf Day Light, Night Light: Where Light Comes From. Franklyn M. Branley. 1998. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades 1-3. What makes light? How can we see objects that don't make their own light? This book introduces the concepts of light-producing objects, the reflection of light, and why we can see objects. Use this book before or during a study of light and its properties.
Sizzling Science Projects with Heat and Energy. Robert Gardner. 2006. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades 4-5. More than just experiments. Learn why temperature and energy are not the same thing, how light can be changed to heat, and how sunlight can be used to produce electricity. Each activity is followed by an explanation, ensuring that students learn the underlying concepts. Best for individual exploration, but you can use the ideas to design activities or learning centers.
Energy: Heat, Light and Fuel. Darlene Stille. 2004. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades K-2. An introduction to heat, light and fuel that defines energy and its sources. More detail is provided on solar, hydroelectric, and fossil fuels. The book's large size is perfect for sharing at the beginning of an energy unit.
Energy Makes Things Happen. Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. 2003. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades K-3. This book focuses on energy in all its forms and how energy is transferred from one form to another. It also helps students trace the energy found in plants and fossil fuels back to the sun's light.
My Light. Molly Bang. 2004. Picture book. Recommended ages: Grades K-2. Stunning illustrations show how the sun drives all of our energy on earth. The book discusses many complex concepts in simple language. Teachers will want to preview the book and consider their students' needs. The book could be used in many different ways, such as a picture walk or part of a learning center.
World About Us Series. Various authors. 2007. Nonfiction books. Recommended ages: Grades 4-5. Seven titles in this series cover different energy resources: Coal, Gas, Oil, Nuclear, Solar, Water, and Wind. An additional book covers energy usage around the world and future resources. Each title explains how the resource works, the advantages and disadvantages of its use, and its availability. Great series for an energy unit and for compare/contrast studies or debates.
Off The Bookshelf PENGUINS AND POLAR BEARS Life Cycle of a Polar Bear. Rebecca Sjonger and Bobbie Kalman. 2006. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades 3-5. This book describes polar bears, their habitat, and their life cycle as well as the threats of melting ice caps, pollution, and human settlement. This book would fit well with a unit on mammals, life cycles, or the polar regions.
Watching Penguins in Antarctica. Louise and Richard Spilsbury. 2006. Nonfiction book. Recommended ages: Grades 2-4. Follow emperor penguins as they gather in rookeries, toboggan over the ice and hunt in the ocean. Color photographs accompany the straightforward text. Boldfaced words and a glossary help students learn about behaviors such as preening. After reading, students could observe the birds in a zoo or a video and watch for examples of the described behaviors.
Why Use Childrenâ€™s Literature? Linking science instruction to children's literature has become increasingly popular in recent years for a variety of reasons: the literature connection motivates students, provokes interest, helps students connect scientific ideas to their personal experiences, accommodates children with different learning styles, and promotes critical thinking. Whatever the reason, we know that books about science can capture even the most reluctant readers and writers. Students are naturally drawn to the colorful photographs and layouts of nonfiction science texts. Using science books allow teachers to meet their reading and writing goals while filling a need to teach more science. Teachers can use books as a starting point for meaningful classroom discussions; some teachers even begin class by reading a poem or a picture book aloud, simply for the enjoyment of the literature. Some teachers project the book onto a screen so the class can read the text together. Picture books make wonderful writing prompts and can provoke good journal writing. Interdisciplinary thematic units can be broadened by use of children's literature. Youâ€™ll notice that 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. Reading nonfiction trade books also supplements scientific investigations and helps students connect hands-on experiences with abstract concepts. In other cases, the text provides valuable information that cannot be gained through hands-on experience. Finally, nonfiction books can serve as mentor texts, providing models after which students can pattern their own writing.
Abo u t U s Beyond Penguins and Polar BearsÂ is an online professional development magazine for elementary teachers. It prepares teachers to integrate high-quality science instruction with literacy teaching. The magazine is available for free at http://beyondpenguins.nsdl.org. Twenty thematic issues link polar science concepts to the scope and sequence of elementary science curricula. The result is a resource that includes issues devoted to day and night, seasons, plants and mammals, erosion, and other physical, earth and space, and life science concepts. Some issues are also interdisciplinary, focusing on polar explorers, the indigenous people of the Arctic, and the challenges of doing science in the polar regions. To browse the complete archive of issues, visit http://beyondpenguins.nsdl.org/archive.php. Other project features include a companion blog (http://expertvoices.nsdl.org/polar) about polar news and research, a polar photo gallery (http://beyondpenguins.nsdl.org/photogallery/index.php) and a podcast series (http://beyondpenguins.nsdl.org/podcast/index.php). Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears is funded by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0733024 and 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) Core Integration team at Cornell University and University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR).
Copyright December 2010. 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. Content in this document is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Printed version layout and design by Margaux Baldridge, Office of Technology and Enhanced Learning, College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University. For more information email: email@example.com.
In this issue's Science and Literacy department, we discuss the Sun's role in warming Earth, the albedo (reflectivity) of Earth's diverse su...
Published on Jan 26, 2011
In this issue's Science and Literacy department, we discuss the Sun's role in warming Earth, the albedo (reflectivity) of Earth's diverse su...