Digital Drafts

Two lessons incorporating technology.

Lesson 1

Using Google Sheets To Analyze Altitude of Sun vs. Climate

Introduction - The teacher will begin the class by asking students to recall the "behavior" of the Sun throughout the year. Students should be able to produce that the Altitude of the Sun changes based on the season and the time of year. They should know that the Sun is highest in the northern hemisphere during the Summer, and lowest during the Winter. Once this has been established, the teacher will ask students about the effect this altitude has on the climate of a particular area, specifically which time of year is warmest, which is coldest, and why.

Developmental Activity - The teacher will supply instructions for accessing NOAA's climate database and acquiring climate data for any city. Each student will choose their own city, and acquire monthly temperatures for the past 30 years. Students will also follow instructions to create an automated spreadsheet that calculates the altitude of the Sun throughout the year in their city. Students will compile all of this data into one spreadsheet, and use the data to graph the altitude of the sun and temperature over the past 30 years.

Conclusion - The teacher will call upon students, asking them what conclusions they have found throughout the period. The teacher will ask the student to support their conclusion with their graphs.

Meet the new Google Sheets

Support Synopsis For Lesson 1

This particular lesson could theoretically be done with old fashioned pen and paper, where students graph by hand using far less data. Using spreadsheet software allows students to do the necessary calculations much quicker, removing the burden of calculations from the student, which can be difficult for some. The true point of the lesson is to allow students to analyze relationships between data, not test their math skills. Furthermore, using spreadsheet software allows students to plot far more data points than they would be able to do by hand, allowing for the use of real data to drive home the true point of the lesson. I chose Google Sheets in particular because it is a free resource that any student can access with any device, and also allows for powerful collaboration tools that allow me to monitor their work in real time. In this lesson, students develop their graphing skills, and analyzing skills, which I think is absolutely interdisciplinary.

Lesson 2

Using Google Slides and Google Sheets To Present Climate Data vs. Carbon Dioxide Concentration

Introduction - The teacher will begin the lesson by asking students to define in their own words what climate change is, and the effects it can have on humans and their way of life. The teacher will call on a few students, building a discussion. The teacher will guide the discussion into why climate change is occurring, and allow students to create a hypothesis.

Developmental Activity - Students will build on their use of Google Sheets to collect climate data from NOAA at various areas in the world, this time over the past 100 years. They will also gather global carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. Students will build a graph that shows the relationship between the two. Students will then build a presentation about how global warming might affect their particular area of the world, and if their area proves or disproves the concept of global warming.

Conclusion - The teacher will allow students to present their findings to the class.

Support Synopsis For Lesson 2

This lesson builds on the use of Google Sheets in the previous lesson, by requiring students to look at the general trend of data rather than a specific relationship. It also requires students to become familiar with Google Slides, which allows for powerful collaboration with their partners. I chose this resource because it works well with Google Sheets, and allows for easy importing of charts, data tables, and graphs. Students will build their data skills, as well as work on real world collaboration and presentation skills.