Arctic & Earth SIGNs: GLOBE Grandma

The GLOBE Grandma training series is a popular part of the Arctic & Earth SIGNs program. These educational videos by Christine Villano, an award-winning early primary science educator and GLOBE teacher from Alaska, help make GLOBE more accessible to early primary teachers, students and families. They are divided by season, with videos for autumn, winter and spring.

The GLOBE materials below have been adapted to be more useful and understandable to young learners. After doing the activities, enter data through or on the GLOBE Observer App:

Before entering data:

  • Visit the Biosphere eTraining page and complete trainings for:
    • Introduction to Biosphere
    • Green Up-Green Down - Tree and Shrub Green-Down
  • Visit the Atmosphere eTraining page, complete the eTrainings for:
    • Introduction to Atmosphere
    • Precipitation - Snow

Note: Users who are not GLOBE educators will also need to complete the Introduction to GLOBE eTraining.

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Lesson 1: Our Leaves Are Changing

Introduction to the GLOBE Green Down investigation for kindergarten to 3rd grade. What do children see and think about when the leaves start changing?

Lesson 2: Adopt Your Leaves

Learn how to set up a GLOBE Green-Down site to track the changing leaves with children for kindergarten to 3rd grade. GLOBE Grandma investigates autumn leaves with NASA's GLOBE program. Adapted for early primary from GLOBE Green-Down (pdf). 

Lesson 3: Observe Green-Down

GLOBE Grandma guides young learners in observing leaf color in the GLOBE Green-Down investigation, showing how early primary students can be NASA's microexplorers through the GLOBE program.

Lesson 4: Check Your Leaves

GLOBE Grandma checks how leaves are changing. Will the adopted leaves still be green, or have they changed colors?  

Lesson 5: Why Do Leaves Change Colors?

GLOBE Grandma explores why leaves change color in the fall with a demonstration using pigments. A simple chromatography experiment can help children understand how colorful pigments can be hidden behind other colors. 

This lesson is an early primary grade adaptation of the GLOBE learning activity Investigating Leaf Pigments (pdf).


Lesson 1: We Know About Snow!

Get children ready to learn about snow and how it changes through time and in different places. After watching the video, use the activity sheets to give children a chance to observe snow and think about what they see and know. 

Lesson 2: Planning a Snow Site

How to find a good spot to monitor snow in a yard, neighborhood or near a school. Join GLOBE Grandma in thinking about and mapping the best spot to make GLOBE snow depth measurements.

Lesson 3: Measure Snow Depth

An early primary grades adaptation of the GLOBE total snowpack monitoring protocol. The snowpack data collected can help scientists to better understand how much water is on the landscape in the form of snow.

Lesson 4: Observe Changes in Snow Depth

GLOBE Grandma revisits her GLOBE snow site and sees big changes have occurred. Observing changes in snow depth helps children understand changes through time. The data collected can help scientists to better understand how the timing and amount of snow is changing.

Lesson 5: Comparing Snow in Different Places

Join GLOBE Grandma and her early primary aged grandchildren discover the differences in snow depth on the river and on the land using GLOBE protocols. They call on University of Alaska snow and ice scientist Dr. Chris Arp to discuss their results. Join in the fun and try it yourself using the activity sheets below.


Lesson 1: Spring is Coming

Join GLOBE Grandma and the grandkids as they get ready for exploring spring green-up by observing and making predictions about spring buds.

Lesson 2: Marking Your Spring Buds

Join GLOBE Grandma and the grandkids as they mark their branches and buds for the GLOBE green-up protocol.

Lesson 3: Making Spring Green-Up Observations

Join GLOBE Grandma as she guides young learners in observing the phenology of tree or shrub buds and leaves using the GLOBE Green Up investigation. Early primary students can do GLOBE, too! They are NASA's microexplorers through the GLOBE program!

Lesson 4: Welcome Leaves

Join GLOBE Grandma as she goes back out with her family to check on how their spring buds have changed. They are surprised to see the beautiful spring leaves emerged. Learn how to continue green-up observations as the leaves grow to their full size. This video is a great review for young learners on collecting GLOBE tree and shrub green-up data as a part of NASA's youth-centered citizen science program.