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How has Earth’s temperature changed over time? Scientists say there’s a difference between weather and climate. Even if a given month is cooler than average, the long-term trend shows that Earth has gotten warmer over the past century.

In this lesson, students use positive and negative integers to compare recorded monthly temperatures to their long-term averages and consider actions they can take to take care of the planet.

Students will

  • Operate with decimals and compare values
  • Use positive and negative numbers to describe how values differ from a baseline in a real-world context
  • Plot positive and negative values on a vertical number line

Before you begin

Students should be comfortable placing positive and negative numbers on a number line.

Common Core Standards

Content Standards
Mathematical Practices