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Statistics Unit Plan II

Scatter Plots and Shape of Data
A Unit Plan for Fourth Grade Statistics
Activities 1, 2, & 3

 Activity 1

1.   Introduce “scatter plots” and show examples.  Either pass out examples on paper or project on the wall.  Discuss the various distributions, leading the children to understand that the more elliptical shape, the closer the relationship between the 2 variables.
2.      Students will make a scatter plot while watching the teacher demonstrate. Using graph paper, have students create their own scatter plot using the car data in Table 3.1 on page 79 in Statistics, Making Sense of Data, making car weights the X axis and car weights, the Y axis.
3.  Show students where to put headings and subheadings and how to plot the points.

Activity 2

1.  Use the car data from Activity 1.  Using a calculator for the overhead projector show the students how to enter data into the calculator, step by step, with the students completing each step after you do it.
2.    Show the students how to create a scatter plot after the data is entered.  Then, have students create the scatter plot on their own calculators.
3.      Lead a discussion on what the plot looks like and what it might mean. Explore the possibility of causality.
4.   Students describe in their journals how to create a scatter plot on their calculators.

Activity 3 (to be completed in the computer lab)

1.      1.      Using the car data from Activity 1, show students how to key information into an Excel spreadsheet.
2.    Allow students to complete on their computer.
3.    Show students how to create a scatter plot from the spreadsheet.
4.    Allow time for students to create on their computer.
5.    Have the students save the scatter plot they have made, print and put into their journals.
6.    Discuss the shape of the distribution and introduce the terms “error and noise”. Continue the discussion of what it means to a relationship if the points are a long and fairly narrow eclipse.
7.    Students write in Math Journal to describe the process of how to create a scatter plot on Excel, the meaning of error or noise, and what information can be gathered from the shape of the distribution.   

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created by Nelda Baker
Magdalena, NM
Last updated July 30, 2002 08:58 AM -0600