El Niño Teaching Box

El Nino Teaching BoxThis Teaching Box combines readings and activities that utilize data to build student understanding of the changes that happen to the Pacific Ocean and atmosphere during an El Niño event.

Teaching Boxes are collections of classroom-ready and standards-aligned activities, content, and multimedia that build student understanding of science, technology, engineering, and math.

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El Nino Teaching BoxThis Teaching Box combines readings and activities that utilize data to build student understanding of the changes that happen to the Pacific Ocean and atmosphere during an El Niño event.

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Overview

UCAR Center for Science Education presents the El Niño Teaching Box! We have collected high quality resources from our program and from other science education programs, sequenced them to help build student understanding, and aligned the collection with Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core, and other national standards. Resources have been reviewed by our team of educators.

  • Topic: El Niño
  • Level: Middle and high school
  • How to use this resource: Select resources from the following tab that are best suited for your students to meet the learning goals. Resources are sequenced to build student understanding. (There are often more resources linked within each section than you will need.)

El Niño in the Pacific

Goal: Students will understand the changes that happen to the Pacific Ocean and atmosphere during El Niño events.

Activity:  This Teaching Box will help your students understand the changes that happen to the Pacific Ocean and atmosphere during an El Niño event. Through a combination of readings and activities that utilize real El Niño data, students will learn how to recognize El Niño and its impacts.

Performance Expectation and Standards:

Middle School

  • NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Analyzing and Interpreting Data, Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Idea: MS- ESS2.D Weather and Climate
  • NGSS Crosscutting Concepts: Cause and Effect, Stability and Change
  • MS Performance expectation: obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about patterns of the ocean and atmosphere during El Niño events (related to MS-ESS2.D)
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.2: Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.7-8.3: Analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text (7.3: how ideas influence individuals or events, or how individuals influence ideas or events) (8.3: through comparisons, analogies, or categories).
  • CCSS.MP2: Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
  • CCSS.MP7: Look for and make use of structure.
  • National Geography Standard 8th Grade 7.1: The physical processes that shape the patterns of Earth's surface: The four components of Earth’s physical systems (the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere) are interdependent
  • National Geography Standard 8th Grade 8.2: Characteristics and Geographic Distribution of Ecosystems: Physical processes determine the characteristics of ecosystems
  • National Geography Standard 8th Grade 14.3: How human actions modify the physical environment: The physical environment can both accommodate and be endangered by human activities

High School

  • NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: Analyzing and Interpreting Data, Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Idea: HS-ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
  • NGSS Crosscutting Concepts: Cause and Effect, Stability and Change
  • HS Performance expectation: Construct an explanation based on evidence for how natural hazards (El Niño events) have influenced human activity (based on HS-ESS3-1)
  • HS Performance expectation: Analyze geoscience data to draw a conclusion about the state of the ENSO climate cycle and associated impacts to Earth systems (based on HS-ESS3-5)
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.2: Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text's explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.3: Analyze how the author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced and developed, and the connections that are drawn between them.
  • CCSS.MP2: Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
  • CCSS.MP7: Look for and make use of structure.
  • National Geography Standard 12th Grade 7.1: The physical processes that shape the patterns of Earth's surface: The interactions of Earth's physical systems (the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere) vary across space and time.
  • National Geography Standard 12th Grade 14.1: How human actions modify the physical environment: Human modifications of the physical environment can have significant global impacts.