Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Looking at Data

Timothy Mark Dillehay
Lee County School District


Students use two days to create, collect, display and analyse data. Classroom activities and practice will build greater understanding to a variety of forms used to display data. Central tendencies become a major focus in the prompt questions during the project.


The student collects, organizes, and displays data in a variety of forms, including tables, line graphs, charts, bar graphs, to determine how different ways of presenting data can lead to different interpretations.

The student understands and applies the concepts of range and central tendency (mean, median, and mode).


-Spinner top (1 needed)
-Stop watch (1 needed)
-Collecting Data (associated file) One for each child
-Displaying Data (associated file) One for each child
-Teacher copy of Displaying Data for both "Gary" and "Rebbeca"
-Any additional book (text book, novel, magazine) Used for counting letters in sentences.
-Chalkboard or Overhead
-Calculators needed for each student (my policy is they bring it)


Have each item listed in the materials list.
Have read the associated files through one time.


Day One
1) Teacher reads or has a reader for the first paragraph from the "Collecting Data" page.

2) Teacher can probe conversation about the reading. (Describe what you think a baseball team will be interested in when looking for a pitcher. What type of numbers would they like to see? ) Write these answers on a board or overhead.

3) Teacher reads or has a reader for the second paragraph from the "Collecting Data" page.

4) Teacher can probe conversation about the reading. (Describe what you think a restaurant company would be looking for in numbers dealing with cars passing a particular intersection.)

5) Teacher reads or has a reader for the third paragraph from the "Collecting Data" page.

6) Have the volunteer come to the front to write the data.

7) Select a student to spin first, then time the spin.

8) Continue step 7 until you have at least 20 data. (You may want to extend the exercise, if you see that each student desires to spin.)

9) Teacher reads the fourth paragraph and tells students to complete this on their own for the remainder of the class.

Day Two
10) Teacher reads or has a reader for the last paragraph from the "Collecting Data" page.

11) The teacher begins by having a student write the number of letters in the teacher’s last name, and the number of letters in the volunteer’s last name.

12) Continue writing the numbers of letters in each student’s last name.

13) Walk through Displaying Data, step by step. Answering all questions or concerns.

Be willing to give students answers in Gary and Rebecca sections.
14) Students will need to work alone on the AEIOU section. You may want to work together as a class on Tell me your name first.

15) Collect the packet of work.


Note: This lesson assesses only the skills of Stem-n-leaf and Line plot displays. It does not introduce or practice other graphing organizers.

Use completed “Displaying Data packet” (associated file) to formatively assess the student’s ability to collect, display, and comprehend statistical data.
Acceptable work is both:
(1) Class participation in the collection and recording of data.
(2) 80% completion of the Displaying data packet. Including data collecting by the individual student in section titled "A, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y".


Collecting data from any number of situations.

Create for students a clipboard data sheet.

I have had students have questions that could only be answered with a number; such as how many cups of soda do you drink a day. How many hours of television do you watch a day, how many Friend’s phone number have you memorized? Students then go to other classes, (or home and about) and gain the data from a set number of student (30 works well). Complete a graph for the data and answer questions to that data.

Students can also create the data from exercises that do not involve asking questions. They can survey any particular area. Have them describe something they are going to watch. Examples can range from how many red cars pass a street each day for ten days as they Waite for the bus. How many commercials have a pet in them within the hour-long show. The situations are endless, and can encourage students to take a closer look at what they like, and how data and number concepts are a part of it.

Have fun !

Attached Files

Collecting Data and Displaying data packet.      File Extension: pdf

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