Mini Lesson/Activity

Surface and Air Temperatures Throughout the Day: Student Activity

Mini Lesson

Virtual Teachers:  Make a copy of the Google Forms LogoGoogle Form of your choice so that you may assign it directly from your Google Drive into your Learning Management System (e.g., Google Classroom, Canvas, Schoology, etc.).  Do you need help incorporating these Google Forms into your Learning Management System?  If so, read this google doc logo Guide to Using Google Forms with My NASA Data.

Directions: Students, review the graph below and answer the questions below. 

  1. Identify what you observe in the line graph below. legend
    1. Describe what the two different colors represent.  
    2. Describe the difference between the dashed and the solid lines.
  2. Identify what these variables mean.  How are they the same?  Different?
  3. Describe the X Axis and what it represents.
  4. Describe the Y Axis and what it represents.
  5. Analyze the line graphs and answer the following questions.
    • What do you see? Identify any trends and differences you see in the graph. Pay special attention to the trends in surface and air temperature at each time of day as well as the difference in surface temperature between the day and night. 
    • What do these trends and differences mean?
    • What is something you would like to know about this graph? Come up with a research question you would like to know the answer to. 

Surface and Air Temperatures Throughout the Day
Credit: EPA

Teacher Note

Teachers, these mini lessons/student activities are perfect "warm up" tasks that can be used as a hook, bellringer, exit slip, etc.

Teachers who are interested in receiving the answer key, please contact MND from your school email address at  

We verify that requestors are teachers prior to sending access to the answer keys as we’ve had many students try to pass as teachers to gain access. 

To receive the keys please provide the following:

  1. The link to the school/institution’s teacher directory where you are employed so we can verify that you are a teacher
  2. Ensure that the school email address is provided in your response as we are unable to send to personal email accounts

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