Students will explore how energy from the sun is absorbed, reflected and radiated back into space by Earth. By completing three short labs investigating the effects of surface color, type of material, or cloud cover on temperature change, students will begin to consider how various surfaces might affect Earth's overall temperature. Earth's energy budget will then be explored through a video, simulation activity, and an interactive animation. This lesson uses the 5E instructional model. All background information, student worksheets and images/photographs/data are included in these downloadable sections: Teacher’s Guide, Student Capture Sheet, PowerPoint Presentation and three lab sheets.


  • Mathematics > General

Education Levels:

  • Grade 1
  • Grade 2
  • Grade 3
  • Grade 4
  • Grade 5
  • Grade 6
  • Grade 7
  • Grade 8
  • Grade 9
  • Grade 10
  • Grade 12


NSDL,NSDL_SetSpec_ncs-NSDL-COLLECTION-000-003-112-115,Earth system science,Cloud cover,Mathematics,Earth Science,Incoming solar radiation,Atmospheric science,oai:nsdl.org:2200/20140407124044409T,Surface reflection,Mathematics:Data collection, analysis and probability,GPM,Middle School,Greenhouse effect,Earth and space science:Earth processes:Earth's energy budget,TRMM,Ecology, Forestry and Agriculture,Geoscience,Vocational/Professional Development Education,Mathematics:Measurement,Heat absorption,Albedo



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