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6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Earth and Space Sciences, Mathematics

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans, 60 minutes
  • Charts, Graphs, and Tables
  • Worksheets

Regional Focus




Graphing Temperature Models

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  • This lesson introduces students to graphing using historic temperatures on Earth.
  • The lesson includes a teacher guide, a student handout (with a blank graph), and links to the data sources from NASA and National Geographic.

Teaching Tips


  • This is a straightforward lesson that teaches students how to graph data and incorporates climate change data.

Additional Prerequisites

  • You may want to review the NASA link with students before doing the graphing exercise to provide context to the lesson.


  • This lesson could be used in science classes to introduce greenhouse gases, paleoclimates, the diversity of life on Earth, mass extinction events, or climate modeling.
  • This lesson could be used in math classes to learn graphing skills in a real-world context.
  • Other resources related to this topic include Drivers of CO2 Emissions and Climate Change Solutions Simulator.
Scientist Notes
Students can learn a basic method in climate modeling by analyzing temperature datasets and plotting a graph, indicating scenarios for the pre-industrial era, business-as-usual, and forecasting changes up to 2050. This procedure is valid, and the resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-5. Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
  • Mathematics
    • The Number System (6-8)
      • M.6.NS.C.8 Solve real-world and mathematical problems by graphing points in all four quadrants of the coordinate plane. Include use of coordinates and absolute value to find distances between points with the same first coordinate or the same second coordinate.
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