Weather Scope
Table of Contents Using Real-Time Data Lesson Plans Implementation Assistance
 
Lesson C4: Local Geography and Temperature
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Overview
How do land and water differences contribute to determine the temperature of a region? Students will compare weather data between inland and coastal cities to determine how land & water differences affect temperature and complete a short laboratory comparing the heating rates soil and water. Students will then apply their results to develop an understanding how local geography influences the temperature of a region.

Objectives
Students will be able to:
  • compare and contrast the temperature of various cities based on different variables;
  • describe the relationship between the results from the soil/water experiment with real-time temperature data from cities; &
  • interpret information on a chart and graph; and
  • investigate and understand how local geography, specifically land and water differences, influence the temperature of a particular region.

Time
One - two 45 minute class periods.

Materials
  • Weather Learning Log or Student Worksheet
  • Part 1: Coastal vs. Inland
  • Part 2: Heat Capacity of the Earth's Surfaces
    • 2 clear narrow glasses or beakers
    • 2 thermometers
    • Equal samples of soil and fresh (tap) water
    • Heat source (e.g. lamp, etc.)
    • Watch or clock with second hand

Teacher Preparation
  • LIMITED ACCESS: If technology resources are limited, you can access the weather web site previously and print the weather data or display the weather web site using a projector or television screen.
  • GRAPHING: Students will be creating a bar and line graph for this lesson. If you are new or not familiar with graphing, please review the Graphing Tips.
  • Before beginning Part 2, the water and soil should be at room temperature. As a suggestion, you can set them aside before the activity is scheduled to take begin.
  • Weather related-topics:

Procedure


Part 1: Coastal vs. Inland
READ FIRST: There are many differences in local geography that influence the annual temperature pattern of a region, including land and water differences such as distance from a large body of water, ocean currents, and distance from mountains. For this lesson, students will study in depth how the distance from large bodies of water influence temperature.

Begin by leading a brief class discussion with the students by asking them to think of cities located near the coast and other cities located inland. After they mention several cities, ask them to think of weather or temperature differences between the two types of cities. If any students have visited both or lived in both coastal and inland cities, encourage them to share with the class any differences. Then ask them to think of a method to prove their hypotheses. By relating the concept of the lesson to their own personal experiences, it will spark their interest in the subject and get them thinking about the relationship between temperature and local geography. NOTE: The cities that students compare should be of a similar latitude and elevation so that any differences in the temperature patterns can be solely attributed to distance from a large body of water since it is the only difference in the locations. As in the previous lesson, this is very important for students to learn because the only way to confirm the influence that any variable has on another is to keep all of the other variables constant.

  1. Use a wall-size map of Peru to show the students the locations in the table or distribute individual maps to each of the students or groups of students. You might mention that Peru was selected to serve as the example country to demonstrate the relationship between distance from a large body of water and temperature because it has many major cities located along the coast and inland with similar latitudes and elevations.
  2. After locating the cities, ask the students if they can make any predictions about the weather for any of the locations. You can organize the students in pairs or small groups so they can share and discuss their predictions with each other, however each student should be held responsible for answering each question.
    • As an optional activity, lead a whole class discussion after the pairs/small groups have answered the questions. This can be play an important part in assisting the students elaborate their thoughts.
  3. Since these are real time weather readings, the weather stations for each of the locations may submit the current temperatures to the weather web site at different times during the day, and therefore you should only compare the high temperature readings for today's forecast.
  4. Depending on the season, students should notice a difference in the average temperatures of the coastal and inland cities.
  5. Answers may vary depending on the individual high temperatures for the day.
  6. Students should draw a BAR graph comparing the average temperatures of the coastal and inland cities. The following is a sample bar graph comparing the temperature for two items but should serve as an example of what to do.
  7. Students should attempt to answer why they think the coastal cities have cooler temperatures than the inland cities. The actual reason why is that large bodies of water such as lakes and oceans moderate the temperatures of nearby lands. Since water heats slower than land, the winds coming from the ocean keep the coastal cities from reaching extreme temperatures of cold and hot.
  8. Students are now asked to apply this knowledge to formulate hypotheses for the next part of the lesson. Answers will vary but all should demonstrate an application of their prior knowledge.

Part 2: Heat Capacity of the Earth's Surfaces
During the second part of this lesson, students will measure the record the temperature of equal quantities of water and soil over time as they are heated. After completing the activity, they will observe that the temperature of the soil increases faster than water under the same conditions.
  1. Before students copy the data table into their Weather Learning Logs, you should review the activity with them and define the vocabulary. Heat capacity is the ability of an object to store its heat. Like its boiling or freezing point, heat capacity is also a characteristic of a substance.
    • NOTE: If you are using the Student Worksheet, a copy of the table has already been prepared.
  2. -  4. Students should follow the directions as described in the Student Activity.
  3. Students will draw two line graphs on one graph comparing the change in soil temperature and the change in water temperature over time.
  4. Both graphs should steadily rise during the same time period however the line for the soil temperature should rise more steeply. This will indicate a greater rate of change in the soil as compared to the water. Therefore, the students should notice that the temperature of the soil increased faster than water under the same conditions.
  5. Students should expect to see the temperature of both substances cool down but the soil would cool down faster.
    • NOTE: If have sufficient time, students can record the temperature for each of the substances for 10 minutes to observe the changes in cooling.
  6. Answers will vary however the the total change in temperature for the soil should be greater than the total change in temperature for the water.

Part 3: Analyze the Data
  1. The students should have observed that the temperature of the soil increased faster than water under the same conditions.
  2. Similarly, the temperature of the soil should cool off faster
  3. Based on the data from the previous activity, the students should be able to determine the cities located inland will heat up and cool down faster and therefore the distance from a large body of water will influence the temperature of a region.
  4. Answers will vary.

Homework
  1. Both the latitude and the elevation of the cities could influence the temperatures of the cities.
  2. Based on the analysis and assuming all other weather factors remained constant (same latitude, etc.), Huacho should have more moderate temperatures because due to its location as a coastal city and its proximity to a large body of water.

Assessment
Make each student or cooperative group responsible for their answers.

Student Activity


NOTE: The following instructions also appear in the Student Activities section of this web site.
Notebook Top Left Corner  Activity C4: Local Geography and Temperature Notebook Top Right Corner
  Part 1: Coastal vs. Inland
  1. Locate and mark the following locations on a map of Peru.
Location Latitude Altitude (m) Location High Temperature (C)
Tumbes 3.5 S 25 Coast  
Iquitos 3.8 S 125 Inland  
Yurimaguas 5.9 S 179 Inland  
Chiclayo 6.8 S 29 Coast  
Trujillo 8.1 S 26 Coast  
Pucallpa 8.4 S 148 Inland  
Chimbote 9.2 S 20 Coast  
Atalaya 10.7 S 450 Inland  
Callao 12.0 S 12 Coast  
Lima 12.1 S 12 Coast  
Puerto Maldonado 12.6 S 265 Inland  
  1. Which location do you think will have the highest temperature? the lowest? Why?
  2. Access the following link and select each of the cities and record the high temperature for today's forecast.
    NOTE: Since these are real time weather readings, the weather stations for each of the locations may submit the current temperatures to the weather web site at different times during the day, and therefore you should only compare the high temperature readings for today's forecast.
  3. Do you notice any trends? Which cities tend to have warmer temperatures? colder temperatures? Describe what you see.
  4. Calculate the average temperature for the inland and coastal cities.
  5. Draw a bar graph comparing the two. Label the x-axis Coastal and Inland and the y-axis in C.
  6. Why do you think one of the locations was on average warmer or colder than the other?
  7. Based on your observations above, do you think soil or water will heat up faster? why?

Part 2: Heat Capacity of the Earth's Surfaces
  1. Copy the following data table into your Weather Learning Log:
Time (min.) Soil Temperature (C) Water Temperature (C)
Start    
1    
2    
3    
4    
5    
6    
7    
8    
9    
10    
  1. Fill the two clear narrow glasses / beakers with equal volumes of water (at room temperature) and soil and place the thermometers in each at equal depths and locations. Note: the thermometers should be suspended so as not to touch the bottom or sides of the glasses and should be covered by a minimum of .5 cm.
  2. Arrange the glasses / beakers at equal distances beneath the heat sources and record the initial temperatures of the soil and water in your data table.
  3. Turn on the heat source and record your measurements every minute for 10 minutes.
  4. Draw one graph containing two line graphs comparing the change in Soil Temperature and the change in Water Temperature over Time. Label the x-axis from 0 - 10 minutes and the y-axis in C. Don't forget to label each of the lines to distinguish between the two graphs.
  5. Do you notice any trends? which had the greatest increase in temperature?
  6. What would you expect to observe if you recorded the temperature over time as the water and soil cool down? Why?
  7. Calculate the total change in temperature for the soil and water.

Part 3: Analyze the Data
  1. Based on the experiment you just completed, what conclusions can you make about which material heated up faster?
  2. Which material do you expect would cool off faster if you recorded the temperature after you turned the heat source off? why?
  3. What do you think is responsible for the differences in temperature between the coastal cities and the Inland cities? why?
  4. How do your observations from the two experiments compare with your hypothesis?

Homework
  1. List at least one additional factor that might influence the temperatures of the cities. Describe how you might measure it.
  2. Based on your analysis and assuming all other weather factors remained constant (same latitude, etc.), which of the two cities below would have a more moderate temperature? why?
    • Huacho (Latitude: 11.1 S, Elevation: 67m, Location: Coast)
    • Esperanza (Latitude: 9.8 S, Elevation: 253m, Location: Inland)

 
Notebook Bottom Left Corner   Notebook Bottom Right Corner
 

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