Grade levels: 9-12

Lesson Objective: The Learner Will Be Able To:

1. Learn some basic vocabulary and ideas associated with glaciation
2. Understand the patterns of global warming and cooling which affect glaciation
3. Work cooperatively in groups to achieve a result, then prepare to teach other class members.

Materials:

  • Computers with internet access
  • Metric tape measures, metre sticks
  • Calculators
  • Handouts (below)
Lesson Process:

1. Introduce the unit by describing the basic idea of glaciation. For good background on glaciation, you can always consult your textbook series, or check out sites such as wikipedia.org.

2. Discuss that currently, Mt. Logan is crowned by an ice cap as thick as 300m in some places. As a class, try the following activity to get a true understanding of how tall 300m actually is. First, measure the height of each person in the class. Record the heights on the board beside each person’s name. Add all of the heights. Draw, in stick figures, small versions of the teacher and students, standing on each other’s heads in a human ladder. Divide 300 by the sum of the heights of the people in the class. Find out how many times everyone would have to stand on each others’ heads to equal the depth of the modern ice cap.

3. Divide the class into 6 groups. Each group will be given a topic to research, using the question sheet below with internet searches and/or books and textbooks. Emphasize that they will be marked not only on the results of their research, but also on their cooperation as a group and on their teaching abilities. They will either be divided into “jigsaw” groups or make a group presentation tomorrow to teach the material they have learned to the rest of the class.

Student Research Sheet: Glaciation: Group A

Use the internet and books to research the topic of glaciation. Define the terms and complete the assignment below. Conduct your research carefully. Find as much relevant detail as possible, and continue your research until you are certain that you understand the material. You will be teaching this material to the rest of the class tomorrow!

Your research topic is:

What is Glaciation? What happens during a glacial period? What kind of climate characterizes a glacial period? How do glaciers form? What is névé? What is firn? What are crevasses? What are bergshrunds?

Student Research Sheet: Glaciation: Group B

Use the internet and books to research the topic of glaciation. Define the terms and complete the assignment below. Conduct your research carefully. Find as much relevant detail as possible, and continue your research until you are certain that you understand the material. You will be teaching this material to the rest of the class tomorrow!

Your research topic is:

The effects of glaciation on sea levels. What effect does glaciation have on sea levels? What are phenomena associated with this? What is meant by Beringia? Where was Beringia and why was it important to the intercontinental movement of people and animals? When did this happen?

Student Research Sheet: Glaciation: Group C

Use the internet and books to research the topic of glaciation. Define the terms and complete the assignment below. Conduct your research carefully. Find as much relevant detail as possible, and continue your research until you are certain that you understand the material. You will be teaching this material to the rest of the class tomorrow!

Your research topic is:

Means of researching glaciation. How do glaciologists conduct their research? Where and how do they find data? How does a more recent glaciation effect evidence of previous glaciations? What is an Ice Core? What is Benthic Mud?

Student Research Sheet: Glaciation: Group D

Use the internet and books to research the topic of glaciation. Define the terms and complete the assignment below. Conduct your research carefully. Find as much relevant detail as possible, and continue your research until you are certain that you understand the material. You will be teaching this material to the rest of the class tomorrow!

Why are glaciers important as freshwater reservoirs? Where is most of the glacial ice in the world? What would be the effect of the two major global glacial ice reservoirs melting? How do icebergs form?

Student Research Sheet: Glaciation: Group E

Use the internet and books to research the topic of glaciation. Define the terms and complete the assignment below. Conduct your research carefully. Find as much relevant detail as possible, and continue your research until you are certain that you understand the material. You will be teaching this material to the rest of the class tomorrow!

What is an alpine glacier? What is a continental glacier? Where are these found and how are they different? What is an ice cap? What is an outlet glacier? What is a U-shaped valley and how do glaciers carve out valleys? What is a cirque and how is it created?

Student Research Sheet: Glaciation: Group F

Use the internet and books to research the topic of glaciation. Define the terms and complete the assignment below. Conduct your research carefully. Find as much relevant detail as possible, and continue your research until you are certain that you understand the material. You will be teaching this material to the rest of the class tomorrow!

Describe the erosive qualities of glaciers. How do glaciers move? What are glacial striations? What are erratics? What is till? What is a moraine? What kind of moraines are there? How are they created? What is glacial polish? Chatter marks? Drumlins?