Grade Levels
6-8 9-12
Authors / Developers
Central Arizona Phoenix LTER
Time Required
1, 50 minute class period
Teaching Tips
Discussion at end of activity includes how changes in land use affects lifestyles of human residents in the target areas. This would be more powerful if the impact of these changes were extended to include a consideration of the environment and ecosystems which is suggested in the extensions and photos and worksheets provided. There are multiple sets of photographs. Each observed area has 6 - 7 sets of photographs for each decade. When running the lesson it may help students to know where to log their answers. Educator may want to duplicate data sheets or assign photographs to groups of students. Middle school or high school extension: Could lesson include quantitative land use percentages or area covered to compare organization patterns? That would help include mathematics and geography too.
About The Science
Several aerial photographs are used from five different locations across the Phoenix metropolitan area. Students are given the maps to conduct observations of land use over time from 1970-2010 in the metropolitan Phoenix and discuss the impact of the changes.
Pedagogy Annotation
Simply designed but such an effective result in learning from this lesson. It involves comparing a series of aerial photos of parcels of land as they have changed over 50 years and identifying the changes in use of the land. Very simple and an intuitive way to help students visualize change over time.
Technical Details/Ease of Use
Aerial photographs are of good quality and cover the Pheonix metropolitan area and should be printed or displayed clearly so students can be successful in making their observations.