Grade levels: 9-12

Lesson Objective: The Learner Will Be Able To:

1. Review the H20 cycle.
2. Learn about global air circulation patterns.
3. Work cooperatively in partners.


  • Computers with internet access
  • Research sheet 1(below)
Lesson Process:

1. Begin the lesson by reviewing the water cycle. Draw as much information from the students as you can, asking leading questions like “What happens when heavy rainclouds encounter the mountain? Why? What happens to water on a hot day? Where does water go after it falls as precipitation?” Draw a picture on the board of the ocean, with mountains rising out. Show how evaporation over the oceans condenses on particulate matter in the atmosphere to form clouds, and then air currents push the clouds over the land. As the clouds are pushed higher and/or the temperature lowers, the moisture becomes too heavy for the particulate matter to hold and it drops to the earth as precipitation (rain, snow, hail). It either freezes, or runs into rivers and lakes, eventually back to the ocean, to begin the cycle again. If frozen, it eventually either melts or turns directly into water vapour (sublimation), to turn into clouds and come back as precipitation once again. Important terms: sublimation, evaporation, condensation, precipitation.

2. After introducing the lesson, hand out research sheet 1 to partners for general and internet research. This will situate them in terms and ideas necessary an understanding of the unit.

Climate Unit: Research Sheet 1

Use books and the internet to perform thorough research on the following topics as they relate to global climate and atmosphere:

1. Jet Stream. What does this term refer to? Draw a diagram showing the jet stream, label it, and then describe what it is and how it effects global weather patterns.

2. Cyclone. What is a cyclone? How does it form?

3. Weather. What is weather?

4. Climate. What is climate? How does it differ from weather?

5. Warm front.

6. Cold front.