GLOBE and Natural Inquirer Crosswalk Project: Teach Earth Systems Connections in Three Steps

Guest Blog by Alicia Carlson, Outreach Lead for the U.S. Country Coordination Office: An activity for Kindergarten to Grade 2 to understand how Earth Systems are connected.

​​​​Teachers of Kindergarten to Grade 2 can use stories and observations of nature outside your door to help students understand how the systems of Earth (atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and pedosphere) are connected.

  1. Start by reading the Elementary GLOBE story “All About Earth: Our World on Stage” to get an overview of some of the connections between the components of the Earth. The story follows a classroom of students as they prepare a play to learn how Earth’s processes are interconnected and how living creatures interact with those processes. [One 30- to 45-minute class period]Graphic with a summary of the 3 steps listed in this blog.   ​​​​​​​
  2. Get a closer look at one specific interaction between animals and their environment when you read the Natural Inquirer Reader Series story “Meet Dr. Ford.” Dr. Paulette Ford conducted research on how prairie dogs respond to fire in grasslands, and this 24-page book follows her research in language that’s easy to understand. [One 30- to 45-minute class period]
  3. Help students understand the Earth’s connections around them by first brainstorming in the classroom and then by taking students outside to make observations of ways different components of Earth interact through the GLOBE activity “We’re All Connected: Earth System Interactions.” Students record observations on a worksheet. This can be done throughout the school year so students can observe how interactions may change based on seasons and weather. [One 30- to 45-minute class period, and periodically throughout the year]

Additional Resources:
​​​​​​​ - Use the other activities in Elementary GLOBE’s Earth System Module​​​​​​​

Student Performance Expectations All About Earth: Our World on Stage K-PS3-1	Make observations to determine the effect of sunlight on Earth’s surface. Crosscutting Concepts	Systems and System Models We’re All Connected: Earth System Interactions K-PS3-1	Make observations to determine the effect of sunlight on Earth’s surface. K-ESS2-1	Use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time. Science and Engineering Practices		Planning and carrying out investigations 	Analyzing and interpreting data 	Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information Crosscutting Concepts	Systems and System Models


Acknowledgement: This material is based upon work supported by USDA Forest Service Eastern Region (Agreement no. 20-PA-11090100-026). Any opinion, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the USDA Forest Service.

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