California Climate and Vegetation Change Classroom Task
Context for Use
Description and Teaching Materials
In order to implement the activity, students will need computer (with internet) access, and a copy of the California Climate Plants Task handout (Acrobat (PDF) 1.2MB Apr21 17) that includes the Context, description of Task Components, Neotoma Explorer instructions, Table 2: Monthly Averages of 2010 climate data from select California Stations, and instructions for navigating CalFlora.
The description of the Classroom Task includes handouts and graphic organizers that can be provided to students, in order to adapt the activity. These include:
"California Climatographs Worksheet" - template for graphing Table 2 climate data by hand (an alternative to graphing software)
Graphic Organizer for Task Component C - worksheet where students keep track of their observations in Neotoma Explorer
Graphic Organizer for Task Component D - worksheet for noting observations and plant tolerances from CalFlora
Teaching Notes and Tips
Background necessary for this classroom task includes:
- students understand how to set up graph axes given data, the law of superposition (in lake deposits), and the basics of palynology (e.g. sampling, chemical processing, unique morphology of grains, slide counting, inherent bias in grain preservation and identification).
- students have a basic familiarity with the naming conventions of taxonomy. Familiarity with how organisms are identified using dichotomous keys is also helpful.
- instructor has worked through components of each task him/herself.
- instructor is comfortable guiding students as they 1) navigate online database platforms that may be new and unfamiliar, and 2) interpret graphs of multiple paleoecological variables through time
Differentiation and accommodations:
The components can be differentiated, or assigned to groups of 2-4 to be completed collaboratively, foster discussion, and reduce classroom time devoted to the exercise. The option of writing or orally presenting answers to components D – F is one option for differentiation.
References and Resources
"Next Generation Science Standards" (National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2014). http://www.nextgenscience.org/