What Makes Cities Hotter?

In this lesson, students explore reasons why temperatures in particular Colorado cities are rising.

Context for Use

This is the second lesson in the Climate Resiliency Education Middle School Climate Unit.

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Credit: Colorado College research shows urban heat islands in Colorado Springs - KOAA News.

Goals Header
What Students Will Do

Students will learn what changes in land use are happening and how changes in surface color affects temperatures in cities.


Climate Resiliency MS2 - Slides
Climate Resiliency MS2 - Data Sheet
Climate Resiliency MS2 - Data


  1. (10 minutes) Consensus Building Discussion: Remind students what they learned in previous lesson.
  2. (15 minutes) Sharing Initial Ideas Discussion: Generate ideas for this lesson.
  3. (25 minutes) Data analysis: Look for patterns in temperature, precipitation, and population data in Colorado cities.
  4. (5 minutes) Building Understanding Discussion: Debrief on data analysis.
  5. (5 minutes)  Brainstorm: Generate ideas for next steps in the investigation.
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