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.
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
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
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.
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
Activity 3 (to be
completed in the computer lab)
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
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.