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Climate Change, Graphing


6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Earth and Space Sciences, Mathematics


60 minutes

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New Jersey


Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Rising Temperatures: Graphing Lesson

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
May 23, 2024
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In this lesson, students graph data to explore the relationship between maximum and minimum New Jersey temperatures over time.


Step 1 - Inquire: Students interact with two data tables showing maximum and minimum average temperatures in New Jersey.


Step 2 - Investigate: Students choose data to graph both max and min temperatures over time and discuss their findings.


Step 3 - Inspire: Students watch a video showing the current effects of temperature in New Jersey and explore the connection between the video’s information and their graph.

Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • This lesson can be used in any math class.

  • Students are given voice and choice in this lesson.

  • Students learn to apply real-world data from a table into a comparable graph.

  • Students explore the connection between data, graphs, and current effects.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should have a basic understanding of average and how it is calculated.

  • Students should have a basic understanding of reading data tables.

  • Students should have a basic understanding of graphing and coordinate points expressed as (x, y).

  • Students should have a basic understanding of the relationship between the x- and y-axes.


  • Students’ communication and vocabulary can be simple or content-specific with math terminology.

  • Students can use their graph to make an infographic about temperature and climate change. Students can then present their infographic in class, in a school club, or in the community to raise awareness.

  • Students can find the line of best fit, find the equation of that line in y = mx + b form, and explain what that line shows about the relationship between average temperatures and time.

  • Students can use the same data and make different graphs (e.g., bar graph, pie chart, etc.). Students can explain how each graph emphasizes different parts of the same data and explain which graph is best in conveying a specific conclusion.

Scientist Notes

This lesson encourages students to create a visual representation of an available climate dataset. A class discussion walks students through the data and how to navigate through the available information. Students are provided instructions on how to create a graph and are allowed to choose which data they will visually represent. The Student Document introduces and invites students to conduct data analysis on their chosen dataset and encourages critical thinking skills. A short video and discussion questions help students relate current information back to their chosen datasets. This is an interactive lesson that incorporates data analysis with the current issue of climate change.


This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

Primary Standards

  • Mathematics
    • Functions (8)
      • 8.F.A.5 Describe qualitatively the functional relationship between two quantities by analyzing a graph (e.g., where the function is increasing or decreasing, linear or nonlinear). Sketch a graph that exhibits the qualitative features of a function that has been described verbally.
    • Statistics & Probability (6-8)
      • 7.SP.B.3 Informally assess the degree of visual overlap of two numerical data distributions with similar variabilities, measuring the difference between the centers by expressing it as a multiple of a measure of variability. For example, the mean height of players on the basketball team is 10 cm greater than the mean height of players on the soccer team, about twice the variability (mean absolute deviation) on either team; on a dot plot, the separation between the two distributions of heights is noticeable.
    • The Number System (6-8)
      • 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.
  • 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.
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