GLOBE Connections

Observing Plant Growth Patterns: GLOBE Learning Activities

Global Biosphere Earth Observatory Image

Check out the three learning activities to help prepare students for collecting data and to support the integration of MND with GLOBE in your curriculum. 

Learning Activities: 

Global Patterns in Green-up and Green-down Data Literacy Cube Graph Icon Data Literacy Cube Map Icon 
Overview: Students will analyze visualizations and graphs that show the annual cycle of plant growth Global Patterns in Green-up and Green-downand decline. Students will explore patterns of annual change for the globe and each hemisphere in several regions that have different land cover and will match graphs that show annual green-up and green-down patterns with a specific land cover type. The activity begins with a class discussion and then students work in small groups and come together again to discuss their findings.

Student Outcomes:

  • Ability to use visualizations to analyze patterns
  • Understanding relationships between visualizations and graphs
  • Ability to describe global, hemispheric, and regional patterns of land cover growth

Green-up Cards Data Literacy Cube Map Icon
Overview: This activity is to prepare students to recognize what a bud looks like and the progression of green-up from the time of budburst. Students will arrange plant growth pictures taken from the bud, Green-up Cardsshrub canopy, grass clump, landscape and regional perspectives.

Student Outcomes:
Students will recognize temporal (over time) progression of green-up at the bud, shrub canopy, grass clump, landscape and regional spatial scales.


First Look at Phenology  

  • Overview:  Students will observe, compare, and classify plants during green-up or green-down, making inferences based on the patterns they observe. During the investigation students’ will increase their awareness of qualitative changes in plant(s) during green-up and First Look at Phenology Learning Activity green down from which they will be collecting quantitative leaf change data.

Student Outcomes:

  • Students will learn stated science concepts and be able to apply process skills in understanding patterns of green-up and green-down among plants.

Limiting Factors in Ecosystems Data Literacy Cube Graph Icon
Overview: Students correlate graphs of vegetation vigor with those of temperature and precipitation data for four diverse ecosystems to determine which climatic factor is limiting growth. These ecosystems range from near-equatorial to polar, and span both hemispheres. The activity begins with a class discussion in which data from two of the ecosystems are analyzed and then students work in small groups to analyze two others. They then come together again to discuss their findings with the class.Limiting Factors in Ecosystems

Student Outcomes:

  • Ability to use X-Y graph to analyze patterns in data
  • Understanding of relationships between visualizations and graphs
  • Ability to describe global limiting factors in ecosystem growth