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Atmosphere Project Ideas

Instructor: Adrianne Baron

Adrianne has taught high school and college biology and has a master's degree in cancer biology.

You are ready to teach your students all about the atmosphere. The following class and group projects will help to facilitate the learning of the details of the atmosphere.

Atmosphere

The atmosphere is all around us all the time. While the atmosphere may all look the same to us, there are different layers with different characteristics. Having an understanding of the atmosphere helps us understand our overall environment. When it's time for your students to learn about the atmosphere the following projects may be used to help your students learn and demonstrate their understanding of it.

Layers of the Atmosphere Project

One of the first things to know about the atmosphere is that it is composed of many different layers and that each has its own characteristics. Your students will demonstrate how well they know the layers of the atmosphere by completing this project.

Materials

  • Large rolls of colored paper (five different colors)
  • Markers and/or colored pencils
  • Nature magazines
  • Earth Science or another textbook

Procedure

  • Divide the class into 5 groups. If you have a very large class, then create ten groups and if your class is smaller, then create groups of 2-3 students.
  • Explain to your students that they are going to demonstrate how well they know the atmosphere by creating an atmosphere in the classroom.
  • Assign a layer of the atmosphere to each group. Each group gets one of the rolls of color paper, some markers/colored pencils, and magazines.
  • Each group is going to draw a diagram of their atmospheric layer. The diagram should give information about the size and location of the atmosphere plus specific characteristics such as the elements the layer is composed of and any life forms that live in that layer. Each student should also organize this data into a short paper.
  • Once the groups are finished, have each group present the diagram of their portion of the atmosphere to the class. After the presentation, the group should hang their diagram on one wall. At the end of the project, there should be a large diagram of the atmosphere on the wall.

My Planet's Atmosphere

There are debates happening regularly about whether or not other planets can support life or not. The main concern is that there are a strict set of parameters within which life could thrive. Your students can show their understanding of the atmosphere and how it supports life by describing the atmosphere of their planet.

Materials

  • textbook
  • student computers with internet access

Procedure

  • Tell your students that they are going to describe the atmosphere for a planet that can support life. The atmosphere for the planet has to be different from the earth's atmosphere.
  • The students should create a presentation where they name the layers of their planet's atmosphere as well as create a diagram of the atmosphere.
  • Explain to your students that they should also describe the life forms and why the planet is inhabitable. Encourage them to be creative.

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