KS3 maths – is temperature rising?

Is temperature rising?

Key Stage 3, Maths

Prior learning

A basic knowledge of averages would be useful. The ability to use Excel if computers are used, or the ability to draw line graphs from data.


By the end of the lesson:

  • Students will demonstrate that the temperatures in England are rising
  • Students will produce a report to justify their findings using graphs and charts where necessary

Lesson plan

Main Body

Look at the graphs. Discuss what the graphs might be showing. If each one is showing the same thing, what could they be? (Use negative axis to help – they show temperatures over a 10 year period)

What time of the year or where in the world might they be showing? Students to discuss:

  • B – summer (July)

  • C – winter (January)

  • A and D are yearly averages

The Met Office has records of temperature in England. When do you think they started recording temperatures? (1659 is when they recorded a temperature for the country called the Central England Temperature (CET))

Discuss differences between earlier recordings and 1671 then 1699 (reading become more accurate so decimals were used). From the graphs that you have looked at over four different 10 year periods can you tell if temperatures are rising? (No)

Look at the worksheet. Here is a sample of temperatures from one 10 year period. Assign each pair/group to draw the graph for an individual month’s temperatures over the 10 years (x-axis is year, y-axis is temperature).

Once graphs are drawn encourage pupils to think about the questions at the bottom of the page.


Discuss results of graphs and questions.

Lesson resources

Central England Temperatures

These monthly mean temperatures are representative of a roughly triangular area of the United Kingdom enclosed by Lancashire, London and Bristol. The monthly series, which begins in 1659, is the longest available instrumental record of temperatures in the world. Live data of Central England Temperatures are available here.

Is temperature rising graphs.

Is temperature rising worksheet.

Web page reproduced with the kind permission of the Met Office.