Learning activities

Scientific Conclusions Building Stations

Students will pull together what they know and their analysis of the data they gathered to develop full scientific conclusions, accounting for uncertainty and forming ideas for possible next steps. Conduct this lesson after students have graphed and analyzed data from an investigation.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
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Explore the Vital Signs Crab Dataset

Students will explore Vital Signs crab data from 2003 to 2017 to investigate changing populations of native and invasive crabs over time and space. Use part I to get accustomed to the online tools, part 2 to practice using the data to answer questions, and part 3 to engage with the question "How do the populations of green crabs, Asian share crabs, and native crabs compare up and down the coast of New England?"

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Documents

Explore Climate Data- Winter Minimum Temperatures in the Gulf of Maine

Students will look closely at multiple visualizations of the same dataset to develop an understanding of changing temperatures in the Gulf of Maine. Students will draw on their observations of the data to form predictions about future winter temperatures.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Resources I used: 
Data comes from NOAA Climate at a Glance database: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/county/time-series
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Introducing a Vital Signs Mission

Use this short lesson to introduce students to a Vital Signs mission.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
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Collaborative Conclusions

Use this lesson to support students in drawing scientific conclusions based on a class investigation (not recommended for students conducting independent investigations). Students should already have collected and analyzed data in preparation for this activity.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Documents

Analyze Vital Signs Data

This lesson guides students through careful examination of their data from single data point progressing to a class dataset. Adapt this lesson to fit most data investigations. Resources include a lesson plan for 1 to 2 class periods and student handouts.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Documents

Purple loosestrife and biodiversity mini-investigation with existing data

Students will collect print outs of existing data from along a mock transect inside the school building. They will compare results, first in this small dataset organized in graphs created by hand and then in a large online database, to determine whether purple loosestrife has an impact on biodiversity in this mock investigation. Use this sequence as a stand-alone lesson in data analysis or as preparation for collecting data on purple loosestrife out in the field.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Documents

Research Jigsaw

Students work in teams to gather background information that will provide context for an investigation and inform predictions.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Documents

Mission: Native vs Invasive Shrub Phenology Teacher Resources

Mission: Native vs. Invasive Shrub Phenology investigates the question, "How is climate change affecting the timing of seasonal changes in native and invasive shrubs?"

The attached teacher resources include standards alignment, materials needed, tips for fieldwork, a full unit outline, lesson plans, and a student notebook to support teachers in conducting this investigation with students. Please let us know what you think of these resources by leaving a comment below or contacting us at vitalsigns@gmri.org.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Documents

Mission: Vernal Pool Egg Masses Teacher Resources

Mission: Vernal Pool Egg Masses explores the question, "How is climate change impacting reproduction in amphibians that breed in vernal pools?"

The attached teacher resources include standards alignment, materials needed, tips for fieldwork, a full unit outline, lesson plans, and a student notebook to support teachers in conducting this investigation with students. Please let us know what you think of these resources by leaving a comment below or contacting us at vitalsigns@gmri.org.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Documents
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