EL Support Lesson

Collect, Organize, and Discuss the Data

Support your students as they collect, organize, and discuss measurement data! Use this lesson independently or alongside *Making Measurements for Line Plots*.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Making Measurements for Line Plots lesson plan.
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Making Measurements for Line Plots lesson plan.

Students will be able to measure lengths of items to the nearest quarter-inch and use that data to create line plots.


Students will be able to explain how to gather data, create line plots, and interpret the data using key vocabulary and sentence starters.

(3 minutes)
  • Write the word measure on the board and ask students to think of what the word means. Facilitate a Think-Pair-Share by first giving them time to think silently, and then direct them to talk to a partner about their thoughts. Then, call on students to share what they discussed with their partner. Record their thoughts on the board.
  • Focus the conversation on things they can measure and tools they can use to measure. Explain that today's lesson will be about collecting measurements and organizing them into line plots.
(8 minutes)
  • Introduce the tiered words for the lesson by giving each student a set of Vocabulary Cards. Display a copy and discuss the word, definition, and image with the students. Challenge them to use each of the words in a sentence. Provide an example for the word measure. (e.g., I need to measure the room so I can figure out if the furniture will fit.) Give students time to talk to a partner and create sentences using the remainder of the vocabulary terms.
  • Tell learners that today's lesson will be about using measurements to create a line plot. Remind them that a line plot is a graph that shows the frequency of data along a number line. It is a visual representation of a situation. Share that a line plot is good to use when you are comparing a smaller amount of numbers. It is a quick and simple tool to organize data.
  • Show students an example of a line plot by displaying the worksheet entitled Interpreting Line Plots with Fractional Units on the document camera.
  • Explain that the number line is labeled to tell you what data is being counted. The numbers along the number line in this line plot show how many hours a day students spend doing chores. Point out that sometimes, the line plot has categories, like different foods, on the bottom. Each X represents one student's data. The X's are symbols used to show how many of each number was reported during the data collection.
  • Model interpreting the line plot by answering the questions at the bottom. For example, explain that to answer the first question, you need to look at the category labeled with a zero and count the number of X's above it. You found that there are four students in the class that do not complete chores at home.
  • Think aloud about a few more of the problems, referencing the line plot each time. Then, pose the following question to students, "How do you think this data was collected? Provide a sentence stem to support their discussion, such as "The data was probably collected by ____."
  • Explain that the data was collected by going around to each student, asking them the same question, and recording their response. The response was probably not put onto the line plot immediately, but probably collected in a list. Then, the list of data was organized to figure out what beginning and ending numbers to put on the number line on the line plot.
  • Display a copy of the Foot Length: Create a Line Plot with Fractional Units worksheet on the document camera and give each student a copy. Point out that the line plot is empty, but the data is to the right in a list format. Tell the class that they will work together to create the line plot based on the data.
(10 minutes)
  • Use the Foot Length: Create a Line Plot with Fractional Units worksheet to engage the class in creating the line plot with the data that is listed on the right.
  • Put students into small groups and instruct them to have their Vocabulary Cards out as they create the line plot together. Encourage them to use the vocabulary terms in their discussions about the line plot, when applicable. Circulate while small groups work and provide feedback and clarification as needed.
  • Gather students' attention and discuss how to create the line plot using the data provided. As students share, provide sentence starters such as "First, Next, and Then" to support their explanations.
  • Prompt students to provide more detail and reasoning as they explain their process.
    • What is the largest/smallest foot size in Akram's class? (The largest/smallest foot size is ____.)
    • Which foot size is the most/least common in Akram's class? (The foot size that is the most/least common is ____.)
    • What are two conclusions that you can make from this line plot? (One conclusion I can make is that ____.)
  • Invite students to help you create a list of good questions to ask to stimulate more math conversation. Provide sentence stems and frames to support student explanations. Ideas include:
    • What information helped you label the number line? (I knew how to label the number line because ____.)
    • How did you know where to put the X? (I knew to put the X ____ because ____.)
    • How do you know that your line plot is correct? (I know the line plot is correct because ____.)
    • Which part of the process was hard for you? (The part when I had to ____ was hard because ____.)
    • Which part of the process was easy for you? (The part when I had to ____ was easy because ____.)
  • Create an anchor chart to display for the remainder of the lesson with the questions and sentence stems/frames to stimulate more math conversation.
(12 minutes)
  • Give each student a ruler, and review the steps of using a ruler. Model measuring a pencil or another quickly accessible item in the classroom so they see how to line the ruler up to the object.
  • Tell students that they will be collecting data and then creating a line plot. Since the data is coming from measurement, the collection can not be in the format of questioning. Instead, each student must measure something, report their measurement, organize the data, and then create a line plot.
  • Give each student a sticky note and explain that this is where the measurement will be recorded.
  • Instruct students to spread their fingers out as far as they can, and to use the ruler to measure the length from their thumb to their pinky finger. Once they have their measurement in inches, they will write it down on the sticky note. Then have students put the sticky notes on the board.
  • Create a neat list on the document camera for students to use as they create their line plots.
  • Have the class work in the same groups as during the Guided Practice, and give each individual a blank sheet of paper on which to create a line plot using the measurement data. Though the line plot will be created as a group, each student must create their own copy.
  • Scramble the groups and instruct learners to bring their line plots with them. Post the following questions and sentence stems for students to discuss in their groups:
    • What is the largest/smallest hand size in our class? (The largest/smallest hand size is ____.)
    • Which hand size is the most/least common in our class? (The hand size that is the most/least common is ____.)
    • What are two conclusions that you can make from this line plot? (One conclusion I can make is that ____.)
  • Invite students to take turns answering each question to share their math process in front of the group. Encourage students to continue using the sentence stems/frames as an aid to talk about their math work.
  • Correct or confirm students' discussion.


  • Allow access to reference materials in home language (L1).
  • Have learners repeat instructions and key vocabulary to the teacher.
  • Provide a Glossary of key terms and phrases for students to use in group and class discussions and to keep in their math journal for future reference.
  • Group students intentionally based on academic and language needs.


  • Allow learners to utilize glossaries and dictionaries for unfamiliar words throughout the lesson and on the worksheet.
  • Have students describe their math processes without relying on the sentence stems/frames.
  • Choose advanced ELs to share their ideas first in group and class discussions.
  • Have learners repeat instructions and key vocabulary, summarizing important information for the class.
  • Pair them with mixed ability groups so they can offer explanations and provide feedback to beginning ELs when appropriate.
(5 minutes)
  • Complete the Formative Assessment: Speaking and Listening worksheet as you circulate and observe student conversation.
  • Give each student an index card and have them write four steps to describe the process of making measurements for line plots. Provide sentence stems to support reluctant writers and beginning ELs.
(2 minutes)
  • Go over the process for making measurements for line plots with the class and create an anchor chart for future use when practicing measurement and graphing. Have students guide you in creating the list for the anchor chart.
    • 1 - Collect the data from each individual.
    • 2 - Organize the data in a way that makes sense to the task.
    • 3 - Set up the line plot based on the data.
    • 4 - Add the data to the line plot.
  • Remind learners that a line plot is a powerful visual tool that represents data and gives information about a situation.

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