Ohio Sea Grant, Ohio State University
Activity takes one to two 50-minute class periods.Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»
See how this Activity supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 1 Performance Expectation, 2 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 3 Cross Cutting Concepts, 8 Science and Engineering Practices
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing 4a
Other materials addressing 4d
Other materials addressing 5b
Notes From Our Reviewers
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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- The activity may be best for younger students or those with weak backgrounds in data and graphing.
- The activity could be adapted for local data from anywhere. In the activity sheet the link for the US Historical Climatology Network guides students to find local data.
- The National Climate Assessment is another good source for local and regional temperature anomaly data.
About the Science
- This is an activity that incorporates global and local (Great Lakes) datasets of temperature anomalies.
- Students are encouraged to explore temporal and spatial scale, look for trends, and draw conclusions from the graphs they create using global and local temperature anomaly data from the Great Lakes Region.
- Comments from expert scientist: A good exercise in recognizing temperature variability from year to year.
About the Pedagogy
- The activity is well-structured to have groups of students graph 26-year periods of historical temperature anomaly data. Students are then asked to make predictions about how they would expect short-term trends to continue into the future. Students then combine their graphs to examine trends over a longer time scale and assess the value of long-term data for increasing predictability of trends.
- Teacher and Student version of the activity are provided.
- This resource engages students in using scientific data.
See other data-rich activities
Technical Details/Ease of Use
- The teacher guide is very helpful with suggestions for use in the classroom.
- Activity is in pdf form with all data, answer sheets, and answer key provided. This is a good activity for a low-tech classroom as no computers are needed.
- Note that Climate Literacy Principles indicated on the activity front page are incorrect (the text is more or less correct but the Literacy numbers are incorrect)
Next Generation Science Standards See how this Activity supports:
Performance Expectations: 1
MS-ESS3-5:Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
Disciplinary Core Ideas: 2
MS-ESS2.A2:The planet’s systems interact over scales that range from microscopic to global in size, and they operate over fractions of a second to billions of years. These interactions have shaped Earth’s history and will determine its future.
MS-ESS3.D1:Human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature (global warming). Reducing the level of climate change and reducing human vulnerability to whatever climate changes do occur depend on the understanding of climate science, engineering capabilities, and other kinds of knowledge, such as understanding of human behavior and on applying that knowledge wisely in decisions and activities.
Cross Cutting Concepts: 3
MS-C1.4:Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data.
MS-C3.1:Time, space, and energy phenomena can be observed at various scales using models to study systems that are too large or too small.
MS-C7.1: Explanations of stability and change in natural or designed systems can be constructed by examining the changes over time and forces at different scales, including the atomic scale.
Science and Engineering Practices: 8
MS-P1.7:Ask questions that challenge the premise(s) of an argument or the interpretation of a data set.
MS-P2.4:Develop and/or revise a model to show the relationships among variables, including those that are not observable but predict observable phenomena.
MS-P2.5:Develop and/or use a model to predict and/or describe phenomena.
MS-P4.1:Construct, analyze, and/or interpret graphical displays of data and/or large data sets to identify linear and nonlinear relationships.
MS-P4.2:Use graphical displays (e.g., maps, charts, graphs, and/or tables) of large data sets to identify temporal and spatial relationships.
MS-P5.2:Use mathematical representations to describe and/or support scientific conclusions and design solutions
MS-P6.1:Construct an explanation that includes qualitative or quantitative relationships between variables that predict(s) and/or describe(s) phenomena.
MS-P7.2:Respectfully provide and receive critiques about one’s explanations, procedures, models, and questions by citing relevant evidence and posing and responding to questions that elicit pertinent elaboration and detail.