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People and Climate

Author(s): Nancy P. Moreno, PhD, Barbara Z. Tharp, MS, and Judith Dresden, MS.

Let's Talk About It

In this activity, students observe that sunlight shines most directly on the center of the globe, nearest to the equator. Conversely, areas furthest from the equator receive the least sunlight and heat. Students learn about the major climate types on Earth, and how climate affects people’s lifestyles.

Discuss how light from the flashlight shined on the globe. Tell students that the central part of Earth (near the equator) receives light at a more direct angle from the sun than do other regions of the globe. Emphasize that in addition to temperature and sunlight, rainfall (or lack thereof) is an important component of weather and climate. 

Ask students if they have ever wondered why there are seasons of the year. Tell them that seasons are caused by Earth’s tilt as it revolves around the sun. When the Northern Hemisphere is tilted toward the sun, that half of Earth experiences summer, and the Southern Hemisphere has winter.


Funded by the following grant(s)

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

My Health My World: National Dissemination
Grant Number: 5R25ES009259
The Environment as a Context for Opportunities in Schools
Grant Number: 5R25ES010698, R25ES06932


Houston Endowment Inc.

Foundations for the Future: Capitalizing on Technology to Promote Equity, Access and Quality in Elementary Science Education