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Nelson Education > School > Elementary Social Studies > InfoCanada > Student Centre > Alberta > People Geography
 

Alberta: Geography  Student Centre

Web Links

Here are some Web sites to help you with your research.

Web Activities

Here are some activities to help you gather information from the Web sites:


?_Geography  Weather
?_Geography  Plant Hardiness Zones
?_Geography  Bioregions

 

 

 

Web Links

Environment Alberta: Alberta's Basins
If you live in Alberta, you live in the watershed of one of seven major river basins. The Peace, Athabasca, Hay, North Saskatchewan, South Saskatchewan, Beaver, and Milk rivers drain the province and provide water for personal use and industry. This Alberta Environment Web site will connect you to basic information about these rivers.

Environment Canada's Weather Office
Canadians care about weather! As we choose what to wear to school, wonder if our afternoon game will be rained out, or make plans for the weekend, we need accurate information to make informed decisions. From five-day weather forecasts to severe weather warnings, this site has it all! The information is available in both English and French.

Climate Normals
What is a “normal” winter? Are we getting “normal” precipitation? The term “climate normals” is used to describe the average climatic conditions of a particular location. Environment Canada keeps records about climate normals for places across Canada. Select your province or territory and view the information from a station close to you.

Plant Hardiness Zones
Why do watermelons grow poorly in Alberta gardens? How did Marquis wheat (developed in 1903) make it possible for farmers to successfully grow grain in Alberta? If you have ever wondered why different plants grow in different parts of the province, this site has the answers. The Plant Hardiness Zones map from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada explains where various types of trees, shrubs, and flowers will most likely survive. It’s a great site for gardeners!

Special Places: Alberta's Bioregions
Albertans live in one of six distinct natural regions: Aspen Parkland, Boreal Forest, Canadian Shield, Grassland, Foothill, and Rocky Mountain. Each region has its own unique landscape features and climate, and each supports its own distinct species of plants and animals. This site will help you explore Alberta’s bioregions, and it provides links to Alberta’s Special Places, Species at Risk, and Canadian and international environmental groups.

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Web Activities

Here are some activities to help you gather information from the Web sites:

?_Geography Weather
 

Weather in Canada can vary greatly from place to place because Canada is such a large country. In this activity, you will examine weather forecasts for communities located in Alberta and Quebec.

1. Visit the Environment Canada Web site.

2. Click on the province of Alberta. Be careful not to click on one of the cities.

3. You will find two menu panels on the right-hand side of the page. Choose the one
     that says: “Choose a forecast & click GO.”

4. Choose a community in Alberta. Click on it, and click “GO.”

5. Record the following information in your notebook:

The community I am investigating is called:                                     

Current temperature:          

 

Current conditions:            

 

Conditions

for the next 3 days:

Highs

for the next 3 days: 

Lows

for the next 3 days:

                                    
                                      
                               
                                    
                                      
                               
                                    
                                      
                               
     

                                                                   

 

6. Now it is time to compare your forecast to one for a community in Quebec.

    Click the browser “Back” button until you return to the map of Canada.

    Click on the province of Quebec. Then choose the menu that says:

    “Choose a forecast & click GO:”

7. Choose a community in Quebec. Click on it, and click “GO.”

8. Repeat step 5 above, this time recording information for the community in     

    Quebec.

9. Compare the information you have gathered for the communities in Alberta and     Quebec.
    Write a statement comparing the two communities.

 

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?_Geography Plant Hardiness Zones
 

Alberta’s climate varies in different parts of the province. This means that certain plants will grow in some areas and not in others. Climate affects which crops farmers can plant, and which plants can grow in gardens and parks.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has prepared maps that tell us what types of plants can grow in the area in which we live. These maps divide Canada into “plant hardiness zones.”

Part A:

1. Visit the Canada Climate Normals 1971-2000 Web page.


2. Select your province or territory from the list. Click on the Search button.

    Select a station that is close to where you live. In your notebook, record      

    answers to the questions below:

        What is the name of this station?
         a. Its longitude is:    °
         b. Its latitude is:      °
         c. Its elevation is:    °

3. Click on the name of this station. Use the information in the chart to answer the
    following questions:

         a. What is the extreme maximum temperature for the year?
             (check the far right column)
         b. What is the extreme minimum temperature for the year?
             (same column)
         c. What is the precipitation (mm) for the year?
             (same column)
         d. How many “degree days above 0 degrees C” are there in a year?

4. Choose another station from the list that is far from where you live. Repeat
    questions 2 and 3 above for this new station.  

5. Compare the numbers you have recorded for the two stations:
       a. Which station has the highest extreme maximum temperature for the year?
       b. Which station has the highest extreme minimum temperature for the year?
       c. Which station has the highest precipitation for the year?
       d. Which station has the most degree days above 0 degrees each year?

6. Based on this information, which station do you think has the harsher climate         overall? Explain.

Part B:

1. Visit the Plant Hardiness Zones of Canada Web page.

                   

2. Click on the “2000 Plant Hardiness Zones” map on the right-hand side of the page.

3. In the space below the words “Zoom to Placename” at the bottom right,
    type in the name of the first station that you researched in Part A.

4. A chart will appear. Click on your station’s name.

5. Match the colour of the map where your station is located to a colour on
    the key to the right of the map.

    Your station’s plant hardiness zone is:                                        

6. Select the second station that you researched in Part A. Repeat steps
    1-5 above to find this station’s plant hardiness zone.

    Your station’s plant hardiness zone is:                                        

7. Based on this information, which station has the harsher climate overall?
    Is this what you decided in Part A? Explain.

Conclusion:

You have gathered a lot of information in this exercise! Use this information to answer the following question in your own words:

8. If you were going to decide how harsh or mild a climate is, what things
    would you consider?
  

 If you have time and would like to learn more about the climate and growing conditions of any place in Canada, the two Web sites used in this activity have it all! Have fun!

 

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?_Geography Bioregions
 

1. Click here to print a copy of the graphic organizer shown below.

2. Visit the Alberta's Special Places Web page to gather information to help
    you complete the graphic organizer.

 



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