Methods and Strategies: Making the Climate Connection

Journal Article by: Bruce Larson Digital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.

This article presents classroom resources for teaching both weather and climate along with background resources for teachers who want to beef up their own knowledge in the subjects. In addition, the author proposes learning progressions that teachers can use to guide their instruction.

  • Elementary

A selection from Science and Children—April/May 2010

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Reviews (4)
  • on Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:18 AM

The author wonderfully outlines how to teach the connection between weather and climate starting with lower elementary students. Suggestions are age-appropriate and a perfect starting point for teachers, schools, or districts wanting to update how their students are learning about climate.

Ruth Hutson  (Westmoreland, KS)
Ruth Hutson (Westmoreland, KS)

  • on Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:19 PM

Bruce Larson's article provides multiple resources for teaching climate to students across grade levels. I found these suggested resources to be the most valuable information from the article. Larson also lays out a framework, or grade-level-spanning sequence, for teaching climate to students. He calls these sequences 'learning progressions', and they make sense. They spell out what skills are appropriate to teach at what grade, or cognitive, level. While I found myself wanting more detail, or a broader breadth of skills included in the progressions, the do provide a good snapshot of the big picture of which climate concepts should be taught. Again, though, my biggest take away was the many resources Larson suggested. To clarify, some of the resources are websites or organizations, but many of his suggested resources are actually engaging, easy-to-implement activities. I'll be able to run with these resources. They will enhance and expand what i teach with regards to climate and weather.

Michael Massad  (Austin, TX)
Michael Massad (Austin, TX)

  • on Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:31 PM

This article provides resources and learning progressions for different groups of students in elementary school – K-2, 2-3, and 4-5 – in both weather and climate curriculum. The purpose of this progression is to provide a ‘scaffold for discussion, planning, and implementing weather and climate discussions in a unified way instead of discrete lessons that do not show progression of concept from simple to more complex concepts. Global climate change is such an important part of the world today that this is a useful tool to get students to fully understand the similarities and differences between the two.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:42 PM

Wow! This article refers to so many ideas for teaching weather and climate that I feel like I should be taking notes! He not only mentions the resources possible to use but also lists learning progressions for K – 5 for teaching both weather and climate. I’m not surprised he works with the Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire, an impressive organization of weather scientists. I will return to this article many, many times.

Allison Cooke
Allison Cooke

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