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Students will use glyphs as a way to visually represent information about Utah weather.
Utah’s climate is variable. In the southwestern regions crops like cotton can be grown, while in the higher elevations of northern Utah, only grasses and cereal grains are cultivated. We experience almost every weather phenomena with the exception of hurricanes. The climate in the most populated parts of the state is generally temperate, with daytime temperatures that are warm and not too hot in the summer. Winter temperatures are cold but seldom extreme. Snowfall in the valleys does not accumulate extensively, while in the mountains snow builds to great depths, providing water for domestic use. Most of Utah is considered a desert with less than 10 inches of precipitation a year, while the mountainous regions receive significantly more.
The Great Basin is a region between rivers and lakes that is bordered on the west by the Sierra Nevada and the Cascade Mountain Ranges and on the east by the middle Rocky Mountains and the Colorado Plateau. The basin encompasses most of the state of Nevada, while Utah is dominated by the Wasatch Mountains and the Colorado Plateaus of the central portion of the state. The Great Basin is cut off from the westerly flow of Pacific moisture by the Sierra and Cascade Mountains. As the moist air masses from the ocean move west, they cool and lose much of their precipitation before they cross Nevada. As a result, Nevada is the driest state in the nation. The dry steppe climate is typical of large basins, where the potential for evaporation exceeds precipitation throughout the year.
Utah’s distinct geography defines its unique climate. Utah is the second driest state. By the time the air masses reach the Basin’s eastern edge they get another lift, creating extra moisture and highland climates that support Utah’s most populous region along the Wasatch Front. High-level, low pressure systems affecting our state’s weather in the spring and fall are often referred to as “Great Basin” or “Nevada” lows. These lows bring the most significant amounts of precipitation every year.
Glyphs are a way to pictorially represent information. These nonverbal representations help students collect and interpret data in a visual format. The idea of glyphs comes from ancient hieroglyphics. They bring a creative and fun method to data collection and analysis into the classroom.
This activity uses glyphs as a way to visually represent information about Utah weather.
Modified and used with permission of Utah Agriculture in the Classroom, Utah State University, [online] www.agclassroom.org/ut.
5. Make mathematical connections.
6. Represent mathematical situations.
Invitation to Learn
Ask students to draw a picture of themselves enjoying an outdoor activity in July and in January. “How will I know which picture is January and which picture is July?” Share and discuss with the class possible indicators of these seasons. Clarify any confusion that may exist. Invite individual students to share their drawings.
This activity requires advanced preparation. The day before you make the glyphs with your students, complete the first step of this activity.
Students create a chart in which they draw their own glyphs for the day’s weather over a week. Then record how the weather affected their choices for after school activities and how it may have affected their family in any way. Students can find weather information on the television news, computer, or newspaper.
Heidorn,P.B. (1999). Image Retrieval as Linguistic and Nonlinguistic Visual Model Matching. Library Trends, 48(2), pp.303-325.
The article reviews the research on how people use models of images in an information retrieval environment. The article describes the human use of images (nonverbal representations) as predating human language and explains that language evolved out of a need to communicate about the world. Verbal language is limited in that it is dependant on a shared experience or shared vocabulary. Some aspects of our mental models are not easily described using words. For example, our brains perceive millions of color indexes and we only have relatively few color names. Some iconic representations are simple and some can be more complex. Our mental models have many aspects including color and shape. These images can be more complex than verbal representations. Some images are content- based, while others are concept-based. It has been suggested that nonlinguistic representations may be used in conjunction with linguistic representations as determined by the task.