Resource Type
Completion Time
Less than 1 period
High school and Up
Download, Share, and Remix
Download Lesson Worksheet & Answer Key in Lesson Materials
Organisms and Their Environments


In this activity, students will use IB-style data-based questions centered around graphs made from data collected about arctic ground squirrels by researchers at Toolik Field Station in northern Alaska. Activity levels of ground squirrels are analyzed in relation to solar radiation and ambient temperature. Students work individually or in pairs to answer the questions.


  • Students will practice answering IB style data-based questions based on current arctic research.
  • Students will learn about influences of ambient temperature and solar radiation on the activity of arctic ground squirrels.

Lesson Preparation

  • IB students will most likely already be familiar with IB-style data-based questions. Sufficient information is given in the questions that they are stand alone.
  • Photocopy the handout for each student.


Students can work on the assignment individually or in pairs. Once completed, go through the answers together, asking students to provide their answers and discussing them. Then the correct answer can be shared and discussed.


The data-based question worksheet and markscheme are included in the Lesson Materials.


Answers can be self-assessed during class discussion, or can be collected and graded.


Jennifer Baldacci, 2017 PolarTREC teacher
International School of Basel
jlbaldacci [at]

Dr. Cory Williams, Researcher
University of Alaska Fairbanks
ctwilliams [at]

Standards Other

Florida Standards

SC.912.CS-CP.1.3 Analyze and manipulate data collected by a variety of data collection techniques to support a hypothesis.
SC.912.CS-CS.2.6 Evaluate various data types and data structures.
SC.912.CS-CS.1.3 Explain how data analysis is used to enhance the understanding of complex natural and human systems.
SC.912.N.1.3 Recognize that the strength or usefulness of a scientific claim is evaluated through scientific argumentation, which depends on critical and logical thinking, and the active consideration of alternative scientific explanations to explain the data presented.

This program is supported by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed by this program are those of the PIs and coordinating team, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.