Lesson Plans

Data Literacy Cube: Intermediate Graph Data with Antarctic's Contribution to Sea Level Rise Graph

Student Handout(s)

Grade Band

  • 6-8
  • 9-12

Lesson Duration

  • 30 minutes

NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas

Science and Engineering Practices

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Data Literacy Cube: Intermediate Graph 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 graphical representations of data.  This activity requires a graph for students to evaluate. 


For the purposes of this lesson, students will analyze Antarctic Ice Sheet Contribution to Global Sea Level.

Learning Objectives

  • observe and interpret physical characteristics of the Earth System using graphs of NASA data
  • write a claim about the variables in the graph
  • analyze how the phenomena changes of time and space
  • characterize the independent and dependent variables 
  • brainstorm the phenomena connects to other parts of the Earth System

Essential Questions

  • How is the data represented in the graph?
  • How do we identify a change in these data?
  • How does change in the independent variable affects the other variable?
  • What relationship do you claim to exist among these variables?

Materials Required

Teacher Preparation:  

Print copies of the cube on cardstock and cut out.  Assemble the cube with glue. Note: consider laminating after you cut these out for multiple uses.  Also, print off copies of the Cube Questions. Distribute to students for group or independent work.

Technology Requirements

  • Standalone Lesson (no technology required)

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 (or die), as well as the related Cube Questions sheet and the graph.
    graph cubegraph questions
  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.  See example below, 5.A.
  4. Repeat Steps 2-4 until at least 10 are answered.  
Credit: NASA