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Local and Global Weather Patterns

Grade Levels
9th - 11th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • Zip
25 + 16 PPT slides
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These lessons, worksheets and activities are perfect for a high school environmental science course or earth science overview. This unit will introduce your students to global weather and wind patterns, the Coriolis effect, El Niño and La Niña, and local weather conditions.

Topics included in this lesson are: Earth's seasons, Earth's axis, global wind patterns (Polar cells, Hadley cells, Ferrel cells), Coriolis effect, solar insolation, ENSO, El Niño, La Niña, air pressure, convection currents, local weather, elevation, rain-shadow effect, albedo, effects of deforestation on weather, isothermic maps, isobaric maps, streamline maps, relative humidity

▶️Can I use this for virtual learning?

The PDFs included in this bundle can be assigned through various online learning platforms, however, students can NOT type on these directly without additional software. If you would like a digital version made specifically for virtual learning environments, please use the digital version of this lesson instead.

What's included?

  • Detailed teacher lesson plan including essential questions, standards, pacing guide, optional supplementary activities and materials list
  • Web-quest for content delivery with guided student notes
  • 16-slide PowerPoint for additional explanation and reinforcement of concepts
  • Partnered Coriolis Effect Activity- a visual exploration of global wind and earth's rotation
  • ENSO Sorting Activity- students read about ENSO (El Niño and La Niña) and recognize the global conditions associated with each phenomenon
  • Local Weather Critical Thinking Page- students to examine the reasons behind their local climate and weather
  • Mapping Activity- students create temperature, air pressure, and wind direction maps
  • Weather Report Group Project- students show understanding of different types of weather maps by making a weather report video presentation
  • 2 Extension Pages for bell-ringers or homework- quick assessment on ENSO concepts, critical thinking page on the effects of deforestation on weather
  • Math Extension page- students analyze global insolation data and maps to explore the unequal heating of the earth
  • Editable Online quiz using Google Forms for easy grading

This is a large bundle of lessons. To see details about each activity, please click on the "PREVIEW" button above.

➤My Environmental Science Series includes lessons for each sphere of the earth:

1. Hydrosphere Bundle (in digital/paperless or print versions)

2. Biosphere Bundle (in digital/paperless or print versions)

3. Atmosphere Bundle (in digital/paperless or print versions)

4. Geosphere/Lithosphere (in digital/paperless or print versions)

How do I use this lesson?

Students learn or review concepts through video links provided in the web-quest.
For students with less earth science background, the PowerPoint can be used for an additional introductory lecture. Next, through independent research and lab activities, students are able to practice these concepts and see them come to life in real environments. Many of these lessons are perfect for substitutes because students can work independently.

What curriculum could I use with this lesson?

This lesson is ideally geared towards high school students, but some portions would work for middle school students, as well. A general level Environmental Science or Earth Science textbook would coincide with these topics. It also addresses the following topics in AP Environmental Science (APES):

  • 4.5: Global Wind Patterns
  • 4.7: Solar Radiation and Earth's Seasons
  • 4.8: Earth's Geography and Climate
  • 4.9: El Niño and La Niña
Total Pages
25 + 16 PPT slides
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 Week
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems. Examples should include climate feedbacks, such as how an increase in greenhouse gases causes a rise in global temperatures that melts glacial ice, which reduces the amount of sunlight reflected from Earth’s surface, increasing surface temperatures and further reducing the amount of ice. Examples could also be taken from other system interactions, such as how the loss of ground vegetation causes an increase in water runoff and soil erosion; how dammed rivers increase groundwater recharge, decrease sediment transport, and increase coastal erosion; or how the loss of wetlands causes a decrease in local humidity that further reduces the wetland extent.
Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity. Examples of Earth systems to be considered are the hydrosphere, atmosphere, cryosphere, geosphere, and/or biosphere. An example of the far-reaching impacts from a human activity is how an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide results in an increase in photosynthetic biomass on land and an increase in ocean acidification, with resulting impacts on sea organism health and marine populations. Assessment does not include running computational representations but is limited to using the published results of scientific computational models.
Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth's systems. Examples of evidence, for both data and climate model outputs, are for climate changes (such as precipitation and temperature) and their associated impacts (such as on sea level, glacial ice volumes, or atmosphere and ocean composition). Assessment is limited to one example of a climate change and its associated impacts.
Use a model to describe how variations in the flow of energy into and out of Earth's systems result in changes in climate. Examples of the causes of climate change differ by timescale, over 1-10 years: large volcanic eruption, ocean circulation; 10-100s of years: changes in human activity, ocean circulation, solar output; 10-100s of thousands of years: changes to Earth's orbit and the orientation of its axis; and 10-100s of millions of years: long-term changes in atmospheric composition. Assessment of the results of changes in climate is limited to changes in surface temperatures, precipitation patterns, glacial ice volumes, sea levels, and biosphere distribution.


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