Mystery Class Update: March 2, 2001
Today's Report Includes:
Four for Four
Time is really flying! It's now the fourth week of Mystery Class, and your Mystery Friends have submitted their fourth set of sunrise/sunset data for you from around the globe.
Have you figured out which location is the farthest north? The farthest south? The closest to the equator? Can you put them in a north/south order now? Where is your hometown in that order?
Countdown to Clues
In two weeks, you'll start to receive a little help with your global search. On March 16, you'll get the first set of clues, which will give you everything you need to estimate the approximate longitude of the Mystery sites.
Teacher Tip: Longitude & Literature
To help students understand some fundamental ideas about longitude before the clues arrive, you might want to look at the literature suggestion from Washington, D.C. Teacher Kathleen Isaacs of Edmund Burke School:
The Sun's the One! Discussion of CQ #2
Last week we asked "How do seasonal changes in photoperiod affect your animal's food web?"
Generally speaking, the longer the photoperiod, such as in spring and summer, the more food that will be available. This is because the added sunlight and heat in spring and summer make plants grow, and the plants provide food for plant-eating animals, and these plant-eating animals can then be available as food for animals which prey on them. Also, the added sunlight and heat warm the air and thaw frozen soil and lakes, making other foods such as worms, insects and fish available too.
On the other hand, the shorter the photoperiod, such as in fall and winter, the less food will be available. The reduced amount of sunlight and heat means fewer plants are available for plant-eating animals, and fewer worms, insects and fish too, and therefore less food is available for animals that prey on these food sources.
Many students described how the seasonal changes affected the food web of their animals. Here are a few students who really "saw the light" when answering Challenge Question #2:
Ms. Hall's Grade 5 class from Scarborough, Ontario wrote about the robin:
The "scientists" in Mrs. Koontz's Third grade class from Bowie, MD described the effect on the red-winged blackbird:
And Miss Bailey's class from Vero Beach, FL wrote about hummingbirds and "little animals":
This Week's Sunrise/Sunset Times
Remember, the secret Mystery sites recorded their times last Monday, the same day you collected your own local sunrise/sunset data.
Journey North Mystery Class
Data For: Monday, February 26, 2001
* Mystery Class #5 wanted
you to know: "At long last...it happened! For the first time in months, the
sun finally set!"
The Next Mystery Class Update Will be Posted on March 9, 2001
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