Grade Levels
9-12
Authors / Developers
Simmons Beth; Palmer LTER
Time Required
One 45-60 minute period
Teaching Tips
Teacher can use this activity in a variety of ways as an introduction as formative or summative assessment or as a stand-alone during anytime of the year as it addresses science processes. Great activity to use in any discussion of why at least in climate science data collected over long periods of time is valuable.
About The Science
This lesson uses long-term sea surface temperatures to help students understand the benefits of using long-term data to make scientific observations and identifying trends as opposed to selecting a short-term occurrence. Strengths lie in its short to-the-point format. The concept is simple - why single snapshots of data do not allow generalization beyond the immediate data to trends that occur over long periods as in changes in climate.
Pedagogy Annotation
Straightforward simple activity that very quickly demonstrates to students the importance of looking beyond a snapshot of data. This lesson is intended to be an introductory activity to a science methods/process unit as stated by the author. The assessment is successful completion of the worksheets used to analyze the temperature graphs. Group discussions both in small groups and with the entire class round out the exercise. Resources for those interested in learning more are provided.
Technical Details/Ease of Use
Ease of use in one classroom period. Available in pdf format.