Mini Lesson/Activity

Analyzing Surface Temperature Differences: Student Activity

Mini Lesson

Observe the image below and answer the following questions.

Surface Temperature Differences
Direct sunlight can heat surfaces well above air temperature
Click here for an enlarged image.
Credit: NASA Earth Observatory photographed by Robert Simmon

  1. What time of year do you predict this to be?  Explain your evidence. 
  2.  What is the temperature of the air?   
  3. How do the grass temperatures taken in the sunlight differ from the ones taken from the same surface in the shade?  
  4.  What is the temperature difference between sunlit concrete and shaded concrete? What does this difference in temperature tell you about how surfaces are heated? 
  5. Based on what you have seen in this image, which type of area do you think is warmer, urban areas (cities and towns) or rural areas (countrysides)?  Why.  
  6. Option 1:  Analyze the picture from the previous slide and describe the observations related to the Earth spheres: Atmosphere, Biosphere, Cryosphere, Geosphere, and Hydrosphere. Use the graphic organizer here to capture your ideas in the textboxes. 

    Option 2: Describe the impact you think these differences could have on the Earth spheres: Atmosphere, Biosphere, Cryosphere, Geosphere, and Hydrosphere. Use the graphic organizer here to capture your ideas in the textboxes. 

graphic organizer

See Document Resources for PDF - or click here.

 

Teacher Note


Teachers, these mini lessons/student activities are perfect "warm up" tasks that can be used as a hook, bellringer, exit slip, etc.

Teachers who are interested in receiving the answer key, please contact MND from your school email address at larc-mynasadata@mail.nasa.gov.  We verify that requestors are teachers prior to sending access to the answer keys as we’ve had many students try to pass as teachers to gain access. To receive the keys please provide the following:

  1. The link to the school/institution’s teacher directory where you are employed so we can verify that you are a teacher
  2. Ensure that the school email address is provided in your response as we are unable to send to personal email accounts

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