Title: Seasonal Change on Land and Water
Grade Level: Middle, Secondary
Source: GLOBE

Curriculum Materials:
Protocol (PDF)


To further students’ understanding of the
causes of seasonal change using visualizations
to compare effects of incoming solar energy in
the two hemispheres


  • Overhead transparencies of color visualizations and overhead projector
  • Copy of color visualizations for each student group. If high-quality color copies are not available, students can create them using Work Sheetcopies and colored pencils or markers.
  • Alternatively, if there are enough computers for each group (e.g., in a lab setup), students can access the visualizations on the GLOBE Web site.
  • Copy of Work Sheet for each student group
  • Wall map to support class discussions

The class reviews global visualizations of incoming sunlight and surface temperature and discusses seasonal change. Students use the visualizations to support inquiry on the differences in seasonal change in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, culminating in an evidence-based argument about why one hemisphere experiences warmer summers although it receives less total solar energy.

  • Whether the data are entered in the GLOBE database or not, a possible extension activity, if resources allow, would be communicating with schools in different parts of the world, both on the same latitude and not, to compare seasonal change data as an illustration of global climate variability.

State Framework relevance:in progress