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Climate and the Uneven Heating of the Earth's Surfaces

Grade Levels
6th - 8th
Formats Included
  • Zip
103 pages
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  1. Earth’s Systems Middle School Bundle: This bundle includes the resources for Middle School Science Strand Earth’s System. Students will love these engaging science units that cover all the Earth’s Systems standards for Middle School NGSS. Save 20% by purchasing as a bundle!Units include:hands-on lab
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  2. Weather and climate are complicated topics. Everything you need to teach the Middle School NGSS Earth's Systems pertaining to weather and climate is in this bundle. Purchase as a bundle and save 20% on these weather and climate resources for middle school science. Completely coverage of these standa
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Learning Objective

Students will develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates.


The uneven heating of the Earth is due to several factors that will be explored in this unit. Students will make a model to show their understanding of the uneven heating of the Earth's surface and how this influences weather and climate. Students will love these engaging activities.

This unit is designed to teach the NGSS MS ESS2-6   Develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates. This is from the Earth"s Systems strand.

This resource has four slide shows:

1.Atmosphere – direct information about the makeup of Earth’s atmosphere

2.Fair Tests-Information on how to design an investigation and include dependent and independent variables.

3.Climate- Information on climate and what factors affect climate with rich diagrams and illustrations of scientific concepts

4. Heat Transfer in Climate-How Heat transfer principles help move solar energy in our weather systems

It also includes:

  • three pages of informational text
  • comprehension questions
  • hands-on labs
  • response pages
  • interactive notebook flaps
  • worksheets
  • answer keys
  • a quiz

This resource is just what you need to show students how materials on the Earth are heated unevenly due to several factors. Each of these will be explored with an inquiry-based lesson in the 5 E format. Students will think critically while participating in labs. This unit explains these tricky concepts in a way that both teachers and students will understand that the Earth is heated unevenly and that this causes atmospheric conditions and regional climate. Watch the video and you can see one of the labs on convection currents. It is awesome!

This unit is based on the Earth and Space Science, Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth's Systems, ESS2.D Weather and Climate

There are over 100 slides and pages in this unit!

 See uneven heating of the Earth's surface on my blog for more ideas about this topic.

Students will learn that there are several reasons for the uneven heating of the Earth's surface and that this uneven heating causes atmospheric conditions and regional climate.

Through this unit, the students will practice 21st-century skills creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking while learning about climate and weather. Fully addresses the NGSS standards MS-ESS2-6. The nonfiction articles included help students with science literacy and are aligned with CCSS for Reading Informational Text.

Science Concepts Addressed Include:


Fair Tests

Independent and dependent variables

Designing an investigation

Factors Affecting Climate

The Global Conveyor Belt

Heat Transfer within our Weather and Climate Systems

Uneven Heating of the Earth’s Surfaces

Difference Between Climate and Weather

Use of Phenomenon

Air Movement

Convection Currents in Nature

Radiation and Conduction

Atmospheric and Oceanic Circulation

Regional Climate

Movement of Heat Energy from the Equator Towards Poles

Students will use all the science and engineering practices during this unit: Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)

  1. Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
  2. Developing and using models
  3. Planning and carrying out investigations
  4. Analyzing and interpreting data
  5. Using mathematics and computational thinking
  6. Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
  7. Engaging in argument from evidence
  8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

Purchase in this bundle Weather and Climate for Middle School and save 20%!

Save 20% by Purchasing in the Earth's Systems Science Bundle for Middle School

Created by Lynda R. Williams

Teaching Science With Lynda

If you have questions about my resources please contact me lywilliams1@gmail.com

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You will love these other resources for Middle School Science:

Air Pressure, Air Masses and Weather Fronts NGSS MS ESS2-5

Water Cycle Unit NGSS MS ESS2-4

Weathering and Erosion Unit NGSS MS ESS2-2

Pangea Using Fossil Evidence NGSS MS-ESS2-2 and MS-ESS2-3

Total Pages
103 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
3 Weeks
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates. Emphasis is on how patterns vary by latitude, altitude, and geographic land distribution. Emphasis of atmospheric circulation is on the sunlight-driven latitudinal banding, the Coriolis effect, and resulting prevailing winds; emphasis of ocean circulation is on the transfer of heat by the global ocean convection cycle, which is constrained by the Coriolis effect and the outlines of continents. Examples of models can be diagrams, maps and globes, or digital representations. Assessment does not include the dynamics of the Coriolis effect.


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