Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Cruising Cars

Stephanie Martinez
Orange County Schools


Middle school students love cars. They will have the opportunity to analyze, compare and contrast tables/charts, based on given car data. While working in groups students will generate a list of desired car features and create their own table/charts.


The student reads and analyzes data displayed in a variety of forms (charts, pictographs, stem-and-leaf plots).

The student interprets data from charts, tables, and graphs.


-Car magazines and newspaper ads, you will need enough so that each student has a minimum of one magazine/ad
-Teacher prepared handout (see attached file)
-Overhead projector
-Transparency of handout (see attached file)
-Overhead marker
-Rubric (see attached file)
-Paper and pencil or pen
-Chart paper
-Blank, pre-formatted table/chart


1. Download the handouts (see Associated File).
2. Download the rubric (see Associated File).
3. Make copies of both handouts for the class.
4. Make one transparency copy of each handout.
5. Check for all needed materials (see materials list).
6. Determine how you want to divide your students into groups.


1. Show students a variety of car pictures, ranging in year, make, model and price.

2. Inform them that today we are going to be analyzing tables/charts dealing with car information and that later they will be provided with the opportunity to develop their own tables/charts.

3. Divide the class into groups of 3-5 students.

4. Review previous lessons/information on reading tables/charts. Students need to know how to read and analyze the title, the categories, the entries, and compare and contrast the different entries on the tables/charts.

5. While in groups, students practice interpreting the data on the table by answering questions (See attached file, My Collection of Cruising Cars).

6. As a formative tool, review answers with students (whole class)providing corrective feedback as necessary. Allow students to correct their answers to serve as a model for the next activity.

7. Ask students to study the various pictures in car magazines while in their groups.

8. Using the magazines and car ads, have students list five important features they like in a car.

9. Have groups pick a spokesperson to report their groupís features while the teacher lists them on chart paper.

10. Distribute the blank table/chart and Cruising Cars Rubric (see attached file, pages 2 and 3).

11. Inform students that they will develop their own table/charts individually, so they are to return to their original seats.

12. Explain rubric. Ask if there are any questions.

13. Explain: The table/chart will have 5 categories in which to collect data.

14. Explain: The students must collect data on 5 cars.

15. Inform students they may use the handout completed and reviewed at the beginning of this lesson as a guide to assist them.

16. Students are to develop their own categories for the table/charts, but they may choose from the listed features on the chart paper.

17. Give students 5 minutes to select and write down their categories on the pre-formatted table/charts.

18. Give students 30 minutes to complete the rest of the table/charts (collecting data for 5 cars).

19. As a formative tool, ask several students to share their table/charts.

20. Ask students to prepare 3 questions that require the reader to interpret data on their tables/charts. The tables/charts along with the questions are collected by the teacher. Present the student developed tables/charts and questions as a review in future lessons. These are also used as a formative assessment.


Use completed charts to formatively assess the studentís ability to:
- Develop tables/charts
- Interpret data from tables/charts
The rubric in the attached file includes the criteria for successful performance. Provide corrective feedback as necessary.


1. Students can work in groups to make a master list of categories.
2. Students can classify various categories.
3. Students can graph categories according to specified criteria (i.e. graph by price, year, color, etc.)

ESE and ESOL Modifications:
1. Students can work with a partner to develop table/chart and questions.
2. Students may use a dictionary and/or thesaurus.
3. Students can have a partially completed table to fill in.
4. Students can use a word bank.
5. Students can have color headings for categories.
6. Ensure that the magazines have pictures of cars to assist in recognition.

Attached Files

The necessary handouts and rubric.     File Extension: pdf

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