World Climate Zones in 3rd Grade

World Climate Zones Research in 3rd Grade

One of the units we study in 3rd grade science deals with the climate zones around the globe.  We started learning about the by using the Mystery Science lesson on the very subject.  It is SUCH a great lesson because it takes the kids step by step through the process of completing a world map showing the different zones around the world.  It also taught them all about how location on the globe has a huge effect on the weather and climate.  After we were done with that lesson, which took a few days and was well worth it, I felt like the kids needed just a bit more work with the zones.  So we set about researching them. 

Now, depending upon where you do your research, there are anywhere from 3 to 11 different zones :)  That is just too many to tackle, so when we were discussing them, we focused on the following: polar, temperate, tropical, desert, and Mediterranean. 

We are really focusing heavily on using sources to gather information for our own writing, so this next set of lessons was wonderful in helping us to do that!  In groups, they read an informational text passage about one of the five climate zones.  For each of 6 categories I had predetermined for them (ie: weather, location, plants and animals, etc...) the students began reading and highlighting information they found pertaining to the traits and aspects of that particular climate zone.  The groups were then given a poster board and created an informational poster with all of the important information they had found.  At the end of this part of the lesson, there were 9 posters filled with info about all 5 of the climate zones.

Research organizer to help the students learn bout the climate zones

Next I gave them an organizer that contained all 5 of the zones with those same categories they had researched.  Students then made their way around the room, using their classmates posters to fill in the information. This was SUCH a great way for the kids to see that their writing has a real audience and how they present information matters.  They worked for a good hour on this, filling in the chart and learning about the different climate zones.

Google Slides to research the various climate zones

Finally, the kids then transferred the researched information onto these World Climate Zone Flip Book slides.  The slides were a pretty way to present the research they did.  The kids loved inserting pictures and finding enough information to fill in the space.  I heard lots of "this is fun!" type of noise as I was leading them through the process of how to find pictures to match what they are learning about.  Also, I found that going through the process of reading the passages and filling in the chart beforehand really helped the kids to know exactly what to put into their slides.  What is even better is how they turned out!  They are just gorgeous to look at!

World Climate Zones google slides template to help 3rd graders research the zones

All in all, this was a great and worthwhile project that I felt the kids really learned from.  They read sources, gathered information, and used that source information in a real life way.  Would you like a copy of the file I used with my students?  I have all of the reading passages I used as well as the templates.  Lesson plans are also there for you!  You can find them all here.

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