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Back in 1963 when LAB-AIDS® shipped its first kit, we had a vision, to revolutionize the middle school classroom with one of the first inquiry-based approaches to learning science through hands-on activity. More Info

SEPUP Texas Edition, Science Grade 8, The Earth and Weather

SEPUP Texas Edition, Science Grade 8, The Earth and Weather


Weather affects what you wear, what you do every day, and even how you get from place to place. But do you know why it rains in some parts of the United States more than others? How would weather scientists describe the patterns of weather we experience each year? In this unit, students will analyze weather, climate, and factors that affect weather and climate through the eyes of scientists who study the earth’s weather and atmosphere. Students will also investigate how communities and environments are affected by natural and human-caused events.

Content in SEPUP Texas Edition, Science Grade 8, The Earth and Weather is organized into 20 activities, as follows:

Activity Title Activity Type Activity Overview
43. Natural Disasters Talking it Over Students make observations about a set of objects they will use in the activities in this book. After the objects have been removed, they try to list what they have seen. They work as a group to name or completely describe as many of the objects as possible. The names of common pieces of equipment and the metric system of measurement are introduced.
44. Weather Effects Talking it Over A fictional story focuses on how weather affects people’s plans and activities. Students discuss their ideas about weather and jobs that are affected by severe weather. They are introduced to four kinds of careers related to the science of weather. They then examine maps that show the relative level of risk of different weather disasters and discuss the likelihood of those weather events occurring locally.
45. Investigating Local Weather Investigation Students record and analyze five days of daily weather data. They then record and graph local monthly weather averages. They compare daily weather conditions to the monthly weather data.
46. Weather and Climate Problem Solving Students use a literacy strategy known as a DART (directed activity related to text) to organize the information about different climates (dry, tropical, etc.). They identify their local climate and compare their personal observations and seasonal weather averages to the climate description. Students then examine climate graphs for three different regions and use the graphs to identify each region’s climate. The class discusses the relationship between climate and weather.
47. The Earth’s Surface Problem Solving Students use a gridded world map to estimate the amounts of the earth’s surface covered by water and land. They then label major land masses and water bodies for use later in the unit. As a class, they calculate the mean, median, and mode of their estimates to help determine an “accepted value” for the class.
48. Heating Earth Surfaces Laboratory Students design an experiment to measure how the Sun’s energy heats land and water as well as how quickly both of those substances cool. An Anticipation Guide elicits students’ current ideas about the warmth of land and water and reinforces the idea that differences in heating and cooling of land and water are important factors in determining climate.
49. Ocean Temperatures Problem Solving Students investigate the range of mean ocean surface temperatures around the globe. They map and discuss patterns of surface temperatures in particular regions of the oceans. The members of each small group then merge their findings and summarize global patterns. They use this data to further investigate climate patterns on earth.
50. Oceans and Climate Role Play Students learn more about how oceans affect climate. They participate in a role-play that discusses the history of the identification of the Gulf Stream and how modern technology is used to gather ocean data. An Intra-act literacy strategy helps guide discussion about the ideas presented in the role play.
51. The Causes of Climate Reading Students read about more factors affecting climate, including the sun’s energy. A literacy strategy helps students comprehend the ideas presented in the text.
52. Measuring Wind Speed and Direction Laboratory Students are introduced to the Beaufort wind force scale and its development. They work in groups to design, build, and test instruments for measuring wind speed and direction. After improving their instruments, they use them to collect wind data.
53. Worldwide Wind Computer Simulation Students use a computer simulation to identify the most common wind direction in a particular location. They share their data with the class and construct a map of global wind patterns.
54. Forecasting Weather Investigation Students work together to interpret a weather map and construct a weather report. Each group then presents a weather report to the class. Students use this information to forecast the next day’s weather.
55. Observing the Earth from Space Investigation In this activity, students work together to interpret various satellite images. They learn how certain kinds of images show changes on the earth.
56. The Changing Earth Reading In this activity students read about the crustal features associated with the types of plate boundaries.
57. Continental Drift Talking it Over Students evaluate evidence related to continental drift. They first determine which statements constitute evidence, and they then identify the statements that support this idea of continental movement.
58. The Theory of Plate Tectonics View and Reflect Students watch two video segments on the history of the development of plate tectonics, beginning with Wegener’s idea of continental drift. They use Student Sheet 58.1 to review key ideas presented in the video.
59. Where Shall We Build? Talking it Over Students are introduced to issues concerning the positive and negative impacts of construction on society and the land. Students examine photographs of undeveloped and developed hillsides, marshland, and clifftop areas. The students then use their observations to help make a preliminary decision as to which site would be best for building. They identify which evidence would help them make a more informed decision and that they will consider over the course of the unit.
60. Making Topographical Maps Investigation To provide students with a better understanding of topographical maps and how to interpret them, this is a hands-on activity in which students construct a topographical map of a land formation. In the next activity students will apply their map reading skills to compare topographical maps of Boomtown at different times in the town's history.
61. Boomtown’s Topography Problem Solving Students compare the street maps and topographical maps of Boomtown in the present with topographical maps of Boomtown from 20 and 100 years ago. They identify changes that have taken place in the landforms at the building locations. They consider how evidence from the contour maps might suggest potential problems for the three possible building locations in Boomtown.
Weather Effects. Building in Boomtown Role Play Students read reports from an engineer, ecologist, geologist, and a city council member about the the three possible building sites in Boomtown. Students discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the building sites and present a building plan for one of them. They apply information from the presentations to make their final decision about where Boomtown should build homes.

A full suite of course tools is available for teachers, as follows:

SEPUP Texas Edition, Science Grade 8, The Earth and Weather

Student Edition

The Student Edition guides investigations and provides related readings. It uses a variety of approaches to make science accessible for all students. SEPUP’s integrated literacy strategies help students process new science content, develop their analytical skills, make connections between related concepts, and express their knowledge orally and in writing.

SEPUP Texas Edition, Science Grade 8, The Earth and Weather

eStudent Edition

Availible in both download and online access platforms.

Teacher Edition

The SEPUP Core Curriculum Teacher’s Edition takes you through each activity in the Student Edition and helps you see the development of concepts within the big picture of the units and the course you are teaching. It helps you set up the equipment from the kit, organize the classroom, conduct activities, and manage practical details, all of which enhance students’ learning environment. The Teacher’s Edition is packaged as a series of loose-leaf binders that you can personalize with annotations, rearrangements, and insertions. The Teacher’s Edition provides full support for teaching the program. Additional support resources can also found in the Teacher’s Edition.

Complete Material Package

All SEPUP materials packages are designed with teachers, students and environmental considerations in mind. Traditional laboratory style classrooms are not necessary to teach SEPUP. Materials packages include most of the items needed for the activities. They support multiple classes – typically up to five classes of 32 students (160 total students) – before consumables need to be replaced. It’s important to note that materials are consumed at various rates; therefore, it will not be necessary to replace all consumable items every year. Exclusive to SEPUP programs are the molded tray liners that keep everything in place and easy to locate – even in a hurry.

SEPUP Texas Edition, Science Grade 8, The Earth and Weather

Online and Technology Tools

These include the Exam View suite of assessment tools and more than 100 web links for each of the three SEPUP 6-8 courses, to be used for basic instruction and enrichment.

SEPUP Texas Edition, Science Grade 8, The Earth and Weather Item # Price Quantity