As a High School or Undergraduate Geography or Earth Sciences teacher, you can use this set of computer-based tools to teach about mountains that comprise one of Earth’s major landforms and the factors that affect their climate. This lesson plan will teach your students about geomorphic characteristics of mountains, orogeny- formation of mountains through tectonic processes in the Earth’s crust and enable them to describe different types of mountains (such as fold and fault-block mountains) and major mountain systems of the world.
This lesson plan also includes a resource to explain how global climatic factors affect mountains and how mountains in turn, affect regional climate.
Thus, the use of this lesson plan allows you to integrate the teaching of a climate science topic with a core topic in Geography or Earth Sciences.
Teacher-contributed lesson plan idea by Smita Kalvey, Vidya Valley School, Pune, India.
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Use this lesson plan to help your students find answers to:
- What is orogeny? Where are most orogenic belts located?
- Compare and contrast between fold and fault-block mountains.
- How do global climatic factors affect mountain climate and how do mountains in turn, affect regional climate?
About Lesson Plan
|Grade Level||High school, Undergraduate|
|Discipline||Geography, Earth Sciences|
|Topic(s) in Discipline||Orogeny, Tectonic Processes, Fold Mountains
Fault-Block Mountains, Volcanism, Crustal Shortening
Heating and Thermal Expansion, Alpine-Type Mountain Belts
Andean-Type Mountain Belts, Intracontinental Mountain Belts
Climate Factors- Latitude, Elevation and Continentality
|Climate Topic||Climate and the Lithosphere|
|A reading that introduces mountains and explains how they are formed or destroyed. It also describes different mountain types and various mountain systems of the world.|
|A video lecture that explains how global climatic factors affect mountain climate and how mountains in turn, influence the local climate.|
|Reading (10 min)||A reading to describe the effect of climate change on mountains.
Here is a step-by-step guide to using this lesson plan in the classroom/laboratory. We have suggested these steps as a possible plan of action. You may customize the lesson plan according to your preferences and requirements.
Step 1: Topic introduction and discussion (Go to the Reading)
- Use the reading, ‘Mountain- Landform’ by Peter H. Molnar, Encyclopedia Britannica, to introduce the topic of mountains and their geomorphic characteristics.
- Use the text to explain the tectonic processes that are involved in the formation and degradation of mountain belts.
- Describe different types of mountains such as fold and fault-block mountains giving suitable examples and explain the processes involved in their formation.
Step 2: Develop the topic of mountains further by describing their role in climate (Go to the Video)
- Play the video lecture, ‘Global Climate Drivers’ by Coursera to introduce your students to the role of mountains in global climatic conditions.
- Use the video lecture to first describe various global climate drivers such as the Hadley Cells and the Coriolis Force that can cause imbalances in temperature, wind and precipitation on the Earth’s surface.
- Extend this understanding by using the lecture and the quoted examples to explain how factors such as latitude, elevation and continentality of mountains influence the climate of different regions across the globe.
- Discuss how these factors affect mountain climate and in turn, how regional or local climates are affected by mountain belts.
Step 3: Dicuss further with a reading (Go to the Reading)
Use the reading, ‘Mountains and Climate Change- From Understanding to Action’, pages 68-70, by Thomas Kohler and Daniel Maselli, Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), Bern, to briefly discuss the global geo-physical, biological and socio- economic effects of climate change on mountains.