Beacon Lesson Plan Library
Stem and Leaf Plots
Johnny Wolfe Santa Rosa District Schools
Description
Students experience using the stem and leaf plot as a method of organizing statistical data. The greatest common place value of the data is used to form the stem. The next greatest common place value is used to form the leaves.
Objectives
Interprets data that has been collected, organized, and displayed in charts, tables, plots.
Materials
 Overhead transparencies (if examples are to be worked on overhead) for Stem and Leaf Plots Examples (see Associated File)
 Marking pens (for overhead)
 Copies of the Stem and Leaf Plots Worksheet (see Associated file), one per student
Preparations
1. Prepare transparencies (if teacher uses overhead for examples) for Stem and Leaf Plots Examples (see Associated File).
2. Have Stem and Leaf Plots Examples (see Associated File) prepared and ready to demonstrate to students.
3. Make copies of the Stem and Leaf Plots Worksheet (see Associated File).
Procedures
Prior Knowledge: Students should be familiar with basic operation skills such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, decimals, and reading graphs. Note: charts and tables will not be assessed.
1. Introduce students to the stem and leaf plot. Describe its usefulness and the parts of the plot (see # 1 on Associated File Stem and Leaf Plots Examples). Answer students' questions and comments.
2. Work example # 2 from Stem and Leaf Plots Examples (see Associated File). Discuss putting data into numerical order and data ranges. Answer students' questions and comments.
3. Work example # 3 from Stem and Leaf Plots Examples (see Associated File). Answer students' questions and comments.
4. Discuss the difference between rounding and truncating (see # 4 on Associated File Stem and Leaf Plots Examples). Answer students' questions and comments.
5. Describe a “backtoback” stem and leaf plot (see # 5 on Associated File Stem and Leaf Plots Examples). Answer students' questions and comments.
6. Work example # 6 from Stem and Leaf Plots Examples (see Associated File). Point out the differences in resulting ranges when rounding and truncating. Answer students' questions and comments.
7. Work example # 7 from Stem and Leaf Plots Examples (see Associated File). Answer students' questions and comments.
8. Distribute the Stem and Leaf Plots Worksheet (see Associated File).
9. The students work the exercises on their worksheets.
10. Move from student to student observing the students' work and lending assistance. Formatively assess each student's progress.
Assessments
Students practice creating and interpreting data on the Stem and Leaf Plots Worksheet (see Associated File). Formative assessment of the students' progress is made.
Extensions
Have students measure each other’s shoes and prepare a stem and leaf plot from the data.
Web Links
Examples of Stem and Leaf Plots. STEM AND LEAF PLOTOne example of plotting a Stem and Leaf Plot. JEN'S STEM AND LEAF PLOT INSTRUCTIONS
