Earth Observations: Pattern Recognition of the Earth System
This activity has benefited from input from a review and suggestion process as a part of an activity development workshop.
This activity has benefited from input from faculty educators beyond the author through a review and suggestion process as a part of an activity development workshop. Workshop participants were provided with a set of criteria against which they evaluated each others' activities. For information about the criteria used for this review, see http://serc.carleton.edu/teacherprep/workshops/workshop07/activityreview.html.
This page first made public: May 2, 2007
In this activity students examine various data sets displayed on world maps related to different spheres of the earth system. On each map students are asked to recognize and describe the patterns displayed by the data. Students choose three maps and examine possible correlations and propose hypotheses to example the observed similarities.
Learn more about the course for which this activity was developed.
Context for Use
Teaching Notes and Tips
- Do at least one example prior to having the students begin the process.
- Some students express frustration with not knowing the details for all the visualizations. IN some cases I give the students more details about the datasets but I always stress that these datasets will reappear later in the semester and perhaps then will make more sense.
- Require students to be thorough! They should examine the entire map or graph. They should look for changes in patterns, shapes of patterns, gradients in patterns and the number of different types of patterns.
- This activity requires a lot of instructor participation. If you let the students fly on their own, it is likely they will not do a thorough job.
References and Resources
Controlled Vocabulary Terms
Resource Type: Activities:Classroom Activity
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14):Introductory Level
Ready for Use: Ready to Use
Theme: Teach the Earth:Teaching Environments:Intro Geoscience