What Covers Our Land?

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Link to Resource: http://www.earthsciweek.org/classroom-activities/what-covers-our-land
Resource Type:Classroom Activities; Curricula and Instruction
Grade Level:
6 7 8
Organization:American Geosciences Institute (AGI); Earth Science Week (ESW); National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Publication Date:2018
Summary:Looking at Earth from space is inspiring. All of the colors you see in a satellite image tell you a lot about the world around us. What is on the land around you? Pavement? A grassy lawn? A forest? What covers our land matters because we depend on and pasture to produce food, forests for wood products, plants for clean air, and water to support wildlife. Mapping land cover is important for people studying how plant cover, water bodies, and other resources are changing with shifting temperature and rainfall patterns. It helps scientists and land managers understand fire and flood risks too. We can make land cover maps by going outside and charting what we see, but we also can use satellite data for the “big picture” scale. Different kinds of land cover have different colors in satellite images. A ground-based map is a very detailed map of a small area. A satellite map shows a large area, but in less detail. Both mapping techniques are needed to get a complete view of Earth’s changing land cover. You can make a land cover map using both techniques in this activity.
Earth Science Big Ideas:Big Idea 1
NGSS Discplinary Core Ideas:ESS2.A
Subjects: 6-8; agi; art; earth science; earth science week; geoscience; mapping; middle school; nasa; steam
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