Line Plots: Representing the Length of Classroom Items
Students will be able to use a line plot to represent data.
- Review measuring items by asking students to explain how to measure using a ruler.
- Pass out rulers, and have students measure the length of their pencils.
- Record their results as numbers on the board.
- Tell students that today they're going to learn about using line plots to display the data they collect from measuring different items.
- Read aloud Kenley's Line Plot Graph: Another Math Adventure by Kathleen Stone.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(10 minutes)
- Explain to students that a line plot uses a number line to show data, and that data is information collected about people or things.
- Explain what the different parts of the line plot are, such as the title and axis label.
- Draw a line plot on chart paper.
- Write the title "Length of Pencils" at the top of the line plot and "Inches" at the bottom to label the axis.
- Ask students to look at the results from the pencil measurements and find the measurements for the shortest pencil and the longest pencil.
- Label the number line with the shortest pencil as the first mark and the longest pencil as the last mark.
- Draw an X for the length of each student's pencil in a single column above the number on the number line.
- Discuss the line plot with students. Potential questions include: "What is the most common length of a pencil in our class? How many pencils are there in all?"
Guided Practice(10 minutes)
- Draw a number line from 1–6, and label the axis and numbers.
- Have each student measure another person's thumb using an inch ruler.
- Record students' results on the board.
- Ask students to help come up with a title for the line plot.
- Write the title "Thumb Lengths" on top of the line plot.
- Have students come to the board and draw an X for the length of their thumbs in a single column above the number on the number line.
- Discuss the line plot by asking questions. For example: "What is the most common length of thumbs? How many thumbs are three inches long?"
Independent working time(15 minutes)
- Instruct your students to complete the Line Plot Practice worksheet.
Enrichment: Direct your students to come up with their own line plots and questions for other peers to answer. Give them time to exchange worksheets and answer each other's questions.
Support: Instruct your students to make their own questions and survey the classroom. Have the other students mark their X themselves on the student's graph, helping the student to see that each X belongs to a person.
- Walk around the room, and observe students as they complete the Line Plot Practice worksheet.
Review and closing(10 minutes)
- Ask students to describe how they made a line plot today.
- Take an easy poll, such as how many pets your students have, and invite a volunteer to make a line plot on the board to represent the data.