Lesson Plans

Data Literacy Cube: Advanced Data with Global Atmospheric Temperature Anomaly Data

Data Literacy Cube: Advanced Data


Use the My NASA Data Cubes to guide students’ exploration of data to enrich their observations and inferences.  This is a flexible resource that may be used with a variety of data, whether the data originates from students' investigations with personally-collected data or data that they have accessed/downloaded.  This activity requires a data tables for students to evaluate.

For the purposes of this lesson, students will analyze Global Atmospheric Temperature Anomaly Data.

Learning Objectives

  • Summarize the data

  • Research how the data was collected

  • Identify the geographic area and time range the data represent

  • Assess the data values and their characteristics

  • Analyze data values using statistics

  • Develop research questions using the data

Essential Questions

  • What are key features of these data?

  • Where do the data come from?

  • What do these data represent?

  • What patterns exist in these data?

Materials Required

*MND offers a variety of Earth System data.  To access and download tabulated data, visit the MND Data Visualization Tool, Earth System Data Explorer

Technology Requirements

  • Standalone Lesson (no technology required)
  • Internet Required
  • One-to-a-Group

Background Information

For more information about the procedures for accessing MND data on the Earth System Data Explorer, visit our YouTube page and watch the tutorials.


  1. Distribute one cube per group, as well as the related Cube Questions sheet, along with the data table.

  2. Students roll the cube and find the matching question on the Cube Question sheet. 

  3. Answer one question found under matching question on a sheet of paper, labeling the question with the number and letter of the question.  

  4. Repeat Steps 2-4 until at least 10 are answered.  

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