suggested grade levels: 7-12
view Idaho achievement standards for this lesson
1. Students will learn how to use the climatology section of the Digital Atlas of Idaho.
2. Students will learn about the major factors influencing climate.
3. Students will learn how to gather and synthesize new information to enrich their understanding of these fascinating topics.
This assignment could be done in small groups depending on how many computers there are in a classroom. Groups of 3 or 4 would be ideal, but larger groups can be used if there are a limited number of computers. It could also be used for a homework assignment. Use the general climate section of the Digital Atlas of Idaho.
To get there: Click on Atlas Home, Climatology, and then General Climate. Encourage your students to explore the General Climate section and click on the links to see the illustrations of new concepts. Use this information to answer the following questions on the handout. For a printable pdf copy of the handout, click below.
These are links to access the handouts and printable materials.
clim4ho.pdf | clim4AK.pdf | General Climate
The sample questions below are shown in the printed handout.
Idaho's climate can vary a lot. Our climate is influenced by storm patterns from the Pacific, changes in the jet stream, and is greatly influenced by Idaho's extremely varied topography. There are also many other factors that influence our climate including latitude, altitude, distance form the ocean, and wind. By doing this exercise, you will get an understanding of some of these factors and the general processes that bring about our climate.
1. How does air temperature change with changes in latitude, altitude, and distance from the ocean?
2. Just by looking on a map, can you predict which city has a greater temperature range, Pocatello, Idaho or San Diego, California? How did you decide this?
3. Why is there so much more precipitation in Northern Idaho when compared with Southern Idaho?