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Lesson Plans
Data, Data, Everywhere… and What Am I To Think?
OverviewProcedure for teachersStudent Resources and Materials

Prep for Teachers

  • Prior to teaching this lesson unit, please bookmark all sites mentioned above.

  • Take the time to cue all of your videotapes to the first viewing segment on each tape.
  • Prepare the hands-on activity candies. Make sure you have a couple of extra snack packages for use in the class in case of visitors, or faulty packaging at the plant.

  • Photocopy the tally and datasheet/spreadsheets shown in this lesson for use by the students. Also photocopy the instructions for use of graphing programs.

  • Please go through the instructions, as a student would, from the student materials handouts to make sure you are familiar with the material prior to class use.

  • Identify a safe space for storage of student data and organizer. You may wish to check with the technology personnel to see if you can save to the A drive.

When using media, always provide students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, a specific task to complete and/or information to identify during or after the viewing of video segments, Web sites, or other multimedia.

Warning:
With the increasing number of chocolate/caffeine sensitive students in school today, you may wish to use Skittles or some other non chocolate-based candies for the activity. You might also consider sugar-free alternatives for any diabetics in your class. Please check with your school nurse for this information prior to obtaining supplies.

Introductory Activities: Setting the Stage

The following activity will provide your students with a personal link to the subjects we are studying in this lesson: data collection and analysis.

Step 1:


Ask students if they have a favorite color of Skittles (or M&M’s). Post their answers on the blackboard.

Step 2:


Ask students how many of their favorite color candy do they usually find in a snack size bag of the candy used. (Answers will vary with the student.)


Step 3:


Ask the class: Does it seem that there is the same amount of all the colors in the bag? (They will usually realize that there is some difference in color distribution.)


Step 4:


Ask students to predict how many of each color will be in their bag of candy. (Have the students write their predictions down on the back of the tally sheet for future reference.)


Step 5:


Distribute the candy packages to the students.


Step 6:


Have them open the bags and sort the colors of the candy. Count the individual colors and record their data on the tally sheet.


Step 7:


Say to the class, “Now how can we use this information you have gathered to check your predictions for accuracy? We are now ready to watch a video explaining how to gather and analyze data to solve problems like ours.”


Learning Activities

Step 1:

Insert Math Vantage: Data Analysis #1, How Do You Get It? in the VCR. START the tape at the visual of the green data crossing the black grid and white grid. The audio will be saying, “Who needs all this information? What’s it for? How and why will we use this data?” Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking them to list the four stages to problem solving using data. PLAY the tape through the appearance of the purple square, with the narrator saying, “That’s right.” STOP the tape. Check for comprehension. (The four stages of problem solving are: Gather, Display, Interpret, and Apply.)

Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking the class to listen carefully for one way to obtain data for use in solving a problem. RESUME PLAY of the tape and play through the visual of the Gallup phone operator working at the computer and saying, “Appreciate your help…” PAUSE the tape to discuss surveys briefly. (One way to obtain data for use in problem solving is to take a survey.)

Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking your class if they can think of any other ways to take a survey. (List their processes on the board for later comparison.) Now watch for the information about how to get a good data sample. What is this technique called? START the videotape and run through the visual of the narrator with the pictures of people’s heads popping up around her. The audio will be saying, “ I wonder how many people they ask…?” STOP the tape for comparison. (This technique for getting a good data sample is called Random Sampling.)

Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking the students to be able to explain what a random sample is, why it is important to have a random sample, and how to get a random sample. PLAY the tape through the picture of the Toothpaste Survey, with the narrator stating, “A random sample helps assure any individual has an equal chance in being included in our survey.” STOP the tape to discuss content. (A random sample is one gathered to represent the entire population. It helps to assure equal opportunity for representation in the survey. You get a random sample by setting arbitrary qualifiers for participation in the survey – like every tenth person.)

Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking your students what forms of questions might you use in a survey? List their answers on the board for later comparison. START the tape and play through the visual of the man tasting toothpaste. The audio will be stating, “We think about how to ask the questions…” STOP the tape and check the class list of question types against the information shown on the tape. (You might use open-ended questions, closed questions, or ratings in a survey.)

Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking the class to listen for why the manner in which you ask the questions is important. Have them raise their hand when they have discovered the answer to this question from the tape. PLAY the tape through the visual of the man with the mustache running his tongue over his teeth. STOP the tape for class discussion. (The manner in which you ask the questions is important to prevent bias in the sample.)

Step 2:

REMOVE tape 1 and INSERT tape 2: Math Vantage: Data Analysis #2, How Do You Show It? Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking your students to write down what they think the main factor in determining the way in which your data will be best shown. Now START the tape at the visual of the purple words saying, “Data: How Do You Show It?” Run through the visual of the narrator standing in front of the televisions saying, “Suppose you wanted to create a picture of your friends’ favorite TV shows.” STOP the tape. Compare your student’s predictions to the information presented on the tape. (The main factors in determining the way in which your data will best be shown are: the type of information to be shown, who will be using it, and the purpose of the data collection and display.)

Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking your students to list the three types of displays shown in the next segment. They are to record the advantages and disadvantages of each type of display. PLAY the tape through the visual of narrator walking behind the CD display racks and saying, “…good way to display who gets what.” STOP the tape. DISCUSS the answers found by your students. Try to incorporate the ranking of displays for use. (The three types of displays shown in each segment are: Line plot: good for a few numbers, not good for large samples; Bar graph: good for large samples because of variable scale; Circle graph: compares one part to the whole, based on percentages.)

Please announce that the class will now break off from the VCR and visit a few of the Internet sites listed for this lesson. Please have your students explore sites 2, 3, 5, and 6, and complete the worksheet sections for these sites found in the student materials portion of this lesson package. You will then return to the VCR.

Step 3:


FAST FORWARD the tape to the visual of the narrator standing on the second story balcony with a red railing. Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking your students to describe how to graphically display change over time. PLAY the tape through the picture of the senior citizens exercising. PAUSE and CHECK for student comprehension. (You can graphically display change over time using a line graph and/or bar chart.)
Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking your students to list the parts of a good graphic display. PLAY the tape through the picture of the gentleman explaining, “…you could figure it out on your own.” STOP the tape. CHECK for student comprehension. (The parts of a good graphic display are: title, labels, scales, and legends.)

Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking your students if they know of any other types of graphic displays to show information. Record their answers on the blackboard for later comparison. Now have them record two new forms of data presentation used by statisticians. PLAY the tape through the visual of the box and whisker plot and the narrator saying, “…with a quick look at a box and whisker plot.” STOP the tape. Check for student comprehension. REMOVE the tape from the VCR. (Two new forms of data presentation used by statisticians are: stem and leaf plots, and box and whisker plots.)

You are now ready to go and visit sites 4 and 7 on the Internet. Have the students complete the appropriate sections of the worksheet for this lesson.

Step 4:


Say, “Let’s watch one more video program now.” INSERT tape 3, Math Vantage: Data Analysis #3, What Does It Mean? Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking your students to list the three steps to data interpretation as shown in the next segment. START the tape at the purple graphics of the title, “Data: What Does It Mean?” PLAY the tape through the elephant drinking the soda with the corresponding
graph. Stop the tape. Discuss the student responses. (The three steps to data interpretation are: use a title, set appropriate labels, and show the situation.)

Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking your students to determine why averages are not always a valid form of data and may lead to misinterpretations. FAST FORWARD to the visual of the narrator making snowballs and saying, “ Averages are a common tool…” PLAY the tape through the graphic of the state of Texas and the audio, “…to understand the data even better.” STOP the tape. Check for student comprehension. (Averages do not account for the range of the data or frequency of any one item. For example, the average daily temperature of Death Valley may be 80 degrees Fahrenheit. But the temperature during the daylight hours has a consistent value of 110 to 120 degrees and the nighttime temperatures range consistently from 30 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It is very rarely 80 degrees.)

We will now visit site 2: Mean, Median, and Mode. Complete the worksheet activity included with this lesson.


Cross-Curricilar Extensions

Show Me the Color!

The activity is designed to apply the information gathered in the introductory activity of this unit. The students will create graphic analyzers to interpret their data and draw conclusions as to the problem presented at the start of the unit.

Using the information gathered in this lesson series, please create a spreadsheet of the information from your tally sheet by following the steps listed on the student handout version of the activity. These instructions are for use with the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet program.

Step 1:

Divide your students into groups of three to work at the computers.

Step 2:

Distribute the student handout for the “Show Me the Color” activity.

Step 3:

Explain to your students that they will be using the tally sheet data acquired in the introductory activity to create a spreadsheet and chart for further analysis of the data.

Step 4:

Circulate throughout the room to supply any help needed by the students.

Step 5:

Guide comparison of individual data samples to increasingly larger samples looking for standardization. You will need to compile all the student data onto one spreadsheet for the class and then generate the pie chart for individual comparison.


Cross-Curricilar Extensions

CHEMISTRY
Have your students go home tonight and look for ten different types of home or personal care products (non-food items). They are to record the ingredients from the panels found on the product containers or packaging. Record at least the first fifteen ingredients for each item. Use the handout Element Search (provided in the Student Materials section) to analyze the ingredient names for the chemical elements present in the specific ingredient. Create a graphic analysis spreadsheet and complete the data analysis process.

SOCIAL STUDIES
Have your students research the Harris Poll or some other politically based polling service to develop a template for polling service questionnaires. Include the possible effect of polling service predictions on the outcome of the past presidential election. Ask the students to suggest possible remedies for the problems discovered with the system currently in place. They must draft legislation to correct the possible problems discovered. Zogby
International is a polling service whose Web site you might consult for information at http://www.zogby.com/.

LANGUAGE ARTS
Students will examine the use of open and closed end questions. Have the class investigate bias within writing styles, and explain the different types of literary bias that may affect the outcome of a survey. The following site on media bias may provide you with some helpful frames of reference for this activity: http://www.cyberpod.com/media3.htm.


Community Connections

  • Students will choose a current local issue and develop a survey. They are to generate copies of the survey and complete the use within a 100 person sampling of the community. They must not only explain their choice of questions and style, but also delineate their process for insuring a random sampling of the community.

  • Students can attend a local school board meeting to interview the members regarding their voting on issues within the school district. They must include some questions for the board members regarding which portions(s) of the community they believe they most truly represent in their work for the board of education.

  • Students are to develop a spreadsheet for the recording of their graded assignments in any one subject area for a period of 8 to 10 weeks. They must create a display graphic to show their progress within the subject during the prescribed time period. A paragraph explanation of their overall performance must be included with the data and graphic.