Climate Regions of the World
An At-Home STEM Lesson Plan Crafted by BGCHarlem STEM Specialist Chaelee Dalton
This week, we continue our unit on climate and climate change!
Today, we will build on our lesson defining climate last week and focus on learning about different climate regions around the world and why the climate is different in different parts of the world.
Next week, we will spend more time learning about climate change, why it matters, and how it is measured.
If your child cannot read, read the text out loud to them. Ask them the questions and have them respond and/ or solve on a separate sheet of paper. If your child can read, simply give them the second page of this handout and have them read the text out loud or in their head.
ANNOUNCEMENT: We’re going live on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays! Click here if you want your child to participate in our virtual after school program. Materials: Blank paper, pen or pencil, internet access/YouTube, flashlight/phone flashlight
Addresses NGS Standards: K-PS3-1
Climate Regions of the World
Do you remember this map from last week? What do the different colors represent? Do you notice any patterns or trends from the colors?
Write on a separate piece of paper or below:
I think the different colors represent __________________________ because
pattern/trend I notice from the colors is ____________________________________.
This map is an average temperature map of the world, where the hottest temperatures are red and orange, and the coldest temperatures are white, purple, and blue. We see that the temperature is typically lower/colder at the top and bottom of the map, and the temperature is typically higher/hotter in the middle of the map.
Average temperature is a big factor in determining different climates of different regions of the world. We learned last week that climate is the typical weather of a region. From the map, we can see that climates are affected by their location on the earth.
But why do the regions in the middle of the map typically have the highest temperatures?
Activity: Get a flashlight or use the flashlight on your phone. Point the flashlight directly at a wall. Then, without changing the distance from your arm to the surface, tilt the flashlight or phone.
Think: How does the area of light on the wall change when you tilt it? How does the brightness of light on the wall change when you tilt it?
When the flashlight is pointed more directly, the area of the lit-up surface is smaller and brighter than when the flashlight is tilted.
You just simulated the light from the sun on different parts of the earth!
The earth is tilted when compared to the sun, so the sun’s light hits the middle of the earth or equator directly and the sun’s light hits the top/bottom of the earth at an angle.
This means the light at the middle is brighter than the light at the top and bottom of the earth.
Most of the world’s heat energy, which determines its temperature, comes from the light energy from the sun. So, where the light is brighter and more concentrated near the equator, the middle of the earth, the temperature is higher.
Average temperature is the most important factor in determining climate regions of the world, although other weather aspects play roles, like precipitation, or rain/snow.
The main climate regions of the world are polar (dark green), temperate (green), subtropical (yellow), and tropical (red).
Which climate zone would you like to live in? Pick one climate zone you would like to live in and find out one thing about the typical weather in that zone by looking it up here.
I would like to live in a _____________ climate because ___________________________.
The weather in the ____________ climate is typically _____________________________.
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