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This activity will help students learn about Utah's environments, temperature, elevation and rainfall.
For each group:
Fourth grade students not only need to learn about Utah’s environments, temperature, elevation and rainfall, they also need to create relationships between these concepts. This activity requires students to use map reading skills and to make connections between elevation, climate, and temperature. They will then communicate this information to classmates. Not only will students be discussing science concepts, but also math skills of reading temperature and rainfall figures that are applied in practical ways.
This activity uses the jigsaw model. Each group or team will take a set of questions, become the expert in that area, and then present their findings to the rest of the class. In this manner, all students learn information, but each group has different questions to answer. The maps used for the activity contain the following information:
Map A: Temperature
Map B: Elevation
Map C: Rainfall (Precipitation)
Map D: Environment
Many questions can be discussed with students. Consider how different factors might affect the development of different environments (e.g., more rainfall supports more plant and animal life). Would climate also affect where particular animals and plants can live? (Yes, animals depend on food sources that are specific to certain climate conditions.) Students should begin to see relationships between temperature, rainfall, environments, and elevations. They will also see trends that develop because most of Utah is a high basin desert, which creates conditions for specific trends in these areas.
1. Use Science Process and Thinking Skills
2. Manifest Scientific Attitudes and Interests
Invitation to Learn
Ask students to solve the following riddle:
I can be as long as 450 miles or fit in the palm of your hand.
I can be blue, green, white, or sometimes bright pink.
I can be detailed and fascinating to some, or very boring to others.
I can be confusing or keep someone from getting lost.
What am I?
A map of Utah!
A social studies connection to this activity is one that helps students practice using grids on maps. It also ties into Mathematics Standard III, Objective 2: Specify locations and describe spatial relationships using grids and maps.
After a discussion of how a grid can help you find places on a map,
or if you are learning about grids during math, transfer the skill to the
Utah map. Show students a grid on an overhead, and then place the grid
over the Utah map (also on an overhead). Have students practice
identifying and pointing to grid locations. They can also locate the grid
square of specific Utah locations and tell what part of the state it is located in. Practice with cities, as well as counties or landforms. They should state the specific locations and then tell the compass rose directions.
Place the grid over one of the maps from the preceding activity. Ask: