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NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory


5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th


Science, Earth and Space Sciences, Mathematics

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plan, 30 minutes-1 hour
  • Worksheet
  • Data
  • Video, 1 minute, 58 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Video, 1 minute, 30 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Video, 1 minute, 42 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Interactive Media

Regional Focus



PDF, YouTube Video

Lessons in Sea Level Rise

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  • In this lesson, students will analyze graphs to determine the extent of sea level rise and its connection to global warming.
  • Students will learn how sea level rise affects people worldwide, interact with graphs, record data, and make hypotheses.
Teaching Tips


  • The provided graphs organize the data for students in a simple manner.
  • The resource provides rich background information for teachers and students to deepen their understanding of global warming and sea level rise.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The interactive element in the discussion section requires a flash plug-in.
  • Students should know how to read a line graph and find the average of a dataset.
  • It may benefit students to understand climate change and the greenhouse effect.
  • The "Images of Change" link under the Extension section doesn't work.


  • This lesson would fit well before one on climate solutions and adaptation strategies, primarily adaptation strategies for flooding and other effects of sea level rise.
  • Discuss the impact sea level rise has on coastal communities and research displacement, migration, and other elements resulting from sea level rise.
  • Have students write their hypotheses and support them with data found in the activity.
  • Younger students may need to do this lesson as a whole class, rather than answer questions independently.
Scientist Notes

This resource is from the CLEAN collection. “The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness.”


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

  • Mathematics
    • Functions: Interpreting Functions (9-12)
      • HSF.IF.B.6 Calculate and interpret the average rate of change of a function (presented symbolically or as a table) over a specified interval. Estimate the rate of change from a graph.
    • Geometry (K-8)
      • 5.G.A.2 Represent real world and mathematical problems by graphing points in the first quadrant of the coordinate plane, and interpret coordinate values of points in the context of the situation.
    • Ratios & Proportional Relationships (6-7)
      • 7.RP.A.2 Recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities.
  • Science
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • HS-ESS2-4. Use a model to describe how variations in the flow of energy into and out of Earth’s systems result in changes in climate.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-4. Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
      • MS-ESS3-5. Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
      • HS-ESS3-5. Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth’s systems.
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