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found in: science; 6-8; 9-12

GeoSTART develops geography, earth science, and spatial thinking skills for middle school and high school. Each of the eight activities relates to one of eight modes of spatial thinking listed in the learning scaffold. (See page 4 in the Teacher’s Guide) Teachers can download the complete package or the teacher’s guide and eight spatial thinking activities separately. The Teacher’s Guide introduces spatial thinking, includes answer keys and other materials, and suggests lesson differentiations, extensions, and caveats.

Hurricane Shapes: Spatial Patterns on Satellite Images ( PDF, 493 KB, 4 pgs.) Students use satellite images to distinguish typical hurricane shapes and then classify hurricanes into shape categories. The extension activity has students work in groups of 5-7 to model the balance of forces that create the eye of a hurricane. An answer key is provided.

Hurricane Frequency: Identifying Regions with Similar Numbers of Hurricanes  ( PDF, 1.2 MB, 4 pgs.) Students classify geographic areas by the presence or absence of a coastline and a set number of hurricanes that occur in a given year. An extension activity has different student groups to use different criteria for classifying areas by hurricane frequency and to map and compare their results.

Hurricane Strength: Spatial Association of Wind Speed and Water Temperature  ( PDF, 1.7 MB, 4 pgs.) Students explore the causal relationship between sea surface temperature and hurricane intensity. An extension has students compare sea surface temperature maps for fall and spring to understand why stronger storms are more likely in fall.


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