Lesson plan

Tour the World: Climates

Students will explore varying climates around the world in the form of a virtual tour! Using a jigsaw format, this lesson prompts students to investigate multiple levels of a region’s climate.
GradeSubjectView aligned standards

Students will be able to obtain information to describe various climates around the world. Students will be able to combine information to compare and contrast various climates around the world. Students will be able to record information from climate maps and report the results.

(5 minutes)
Climate MapsResearching Climates Graphic Organizer
  • Review the main types of weather with the students, including Precipitation, such as rain, snow, sleet, and hail, and various types of storms, such as tornadoes and hurricanes.
  • Tell the students that they will be learning more about Climates, or the weather in a specific area over time.
(10 minutes)
  • Show the students examples of a climate map using Maps from Climate.gov.
  • Distinguish and show the differences between areas and how this is shown on a map.
  • Model the process of reporting information from the map and writing sentences using this information.
(10 minutes)
  • Select A separate climate map from Climate.gov, and display it.
  • Invite students to come up to the board and identify various parts of the map that they notice, along with the meanings of the different parts of the map.
  • Guide students through the full analysis of the map, and then invite another student to come up to the front of the board and write a descriptive sentence about information that they learned.
(20 minutes)
  • Divide students into groups to begin working on analysis of climates around the world. Assign each group one of four topics: temperature, rainfall, global warming, and wind speed.
  • Instruct your students to access the World Climate Maps.
  • Distribute a graphic organizer on researching climates to each student.
  • Direct students to write down the location and something that they noticed in specific areas on the world climate maps.
  • Provide additional modeling, as needed.
  • Enrichment:Challenge students to look beyond the boundaries of their individual climate map and to look for trends and patterns across various climate maps. Ask them to identify correlations between climate and location.
  • Support:Provide a partially filled graphic organizer for students who may need additional direction. Consider assigning one graphic organizer per group, rather than one graphic organizer per student.
  • Have the students complete a webquest that shows evidence of certain climates. For example, challenge students to find pictures that represent the climate of countries in Africa.
(5 minutes)
  • Have the students complete the Climate Maps worksheet.
  • On the back of the worksheet, ask students to describe one thing that surprised them from their research.
(5 minutes)
  • Conclude the lesson by asking all students to come back as a whole group.
  • Ask students to use their notes from their graphic organizers to compare and contrast similarities and differences in climates across the world. As the students are sharing the information they located, display selected climate maps on an interactive whiteboard or a projector.

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