December 5, 2021

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Lesson of the Day: ‘What’s Emerging From the Melting Ice?’

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This lesson is part of our new Accessible Activities feature, which aims to welcome a wider variety of learners to our site and to The Times. Learn more and tell us what you think here.


Featured Text: “What’s Emerging From the Melting Ice?” by Franz Lidz

As climate change causes global temperatures to rise, ancient animal remains and human artifacts are emerging from melting glaciers and permafrost.

In this lesson, you will learn about some of the objects that the melting ice has revealed. Then, you will learn more about climate change by participating in a citizen science project.

Before learning about some of the artifacts that have been found in melting glaciers, watch this four-minute video from National Geographic about how climate change is affecting glaciers.

Then, answer the following questions:

  • What is a glacier?

  • What are the different types?

  • How do glaciers form?

  • What resources do glaciers provide?

  • What is the connection between melting glaciers and climate change?

Here are nine words you’ll find in this text that you may not know:

1. permafrost
2. glaciers
3. thaw
4. erode
5. remains
6. artifacts
7. preserved
8. Paleolithic
9. domestication

Which words are you familiar with? Which are new to you?

Go to Vocabulary.com to learn what each word means and to practice using them.

Read the text below, or print out the PDF. Then answer the following questions:

1. What effect is climate change having on permafrost and glaciers?

2. What animal remains were found in the permafrost?

3. What is significant about the tree fossil that was discovered?

4. What conclusions did researchers draw from the rope and arrow they found near the Langfonne ice patch?

5. Which artifact were you most surprised to see? Which would you like to know more about?

Learn more about climate change by choosing one of the two citizen science projects from Zooniverse below to complete on your own or with a partner.

Fossil Atmospheres: Help researchers create a record of how the atmosphere has changed over time. You will closely observe modern and fossil leaves to track climate change over millions of years.

Mapping Change: In this project you will help scientists measure climate change by identifying a baseline of how animals, plants and fungi existed before conditions changed. You will closely analyze specimens to help scientists come to conclusions about climate change.

After participating in the citizen science project, answer these questions:

  • What is one thing you learned by participating in the project?

  • What is one question you would like to ask the researchers leading the project?

  • In what ways did the project connect to what you learned in the featured text?


Want more Lessons of the Day? You can find them all here.

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