
Raising the Bar While Hogging the Ham
(Radio, That Is)



Prep for Teachers
CUE episode #210, "Raising the Bar" to the appropriate
starting point, which is the scene
in which the Cyberkids and Ms. Fileshare compare Hacker's graph
with that of another exterminator.

Bookmark the Web sites used in the lesson. Try
the "Bugs in the System" activity on the Cyberchase Web
site so that you are certain how it works. Create the transparencies
of the Scholastic graphs if you wish.
When using media, provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION,
a specific task to complete and/or information to identify before,
during, or after viewing video segments, Web sites, or other multimedia
elements.

Step 1:
Bring in a bar graph from a newspaper or magazine. Show the bar
graph to your students, and ask them, "What is a bar graph?"
(Guide your students to realize that a bar graph is a representation
of different values using bars. The height of the bar indicates
the amount in a given category.) When and why would someone want
to use a bar graph? (When you want to compare values of different
things easily and at a glance.)
Have students look at the bar graphs on favorite sports to compete
in and favorite sports to watch, viewed or downloaded from http://teacher.scholastic.com/kidusasu/favsport/resfsc.htm and http://teacher.scholastic.com/kidusasu/favsport/resfsw.htm.
A transparency can be shown and/or you can also distribute copies
of the graphs to each student. Ask students to discuss the graphs.
Emphasize that numbers have to appear on the bar graphs, and that
the scale used on the vertical, or yaxis, has to be the same to
compare two or more bar graphs visually and quickly.
Ask the students how the graphs are similar and how they are different.
(Answer: The same sports are listed. Those same sports appear in
the same order on both bar graphs. The same scale of increments
of 50 going up to 600 is used of those surveyed. The difference
is in the numbers for each. The green bar is highest showing that
basketball is the favorite sport to watch. In terms of competing,
the bar representing "Other" is tallest. Without having
to even see the numbers, the top choice for each category is obvious.
Favorites for watching are not the same as favorites for competing
in.)
Step 2:
Students can also be asked to discuss school uniforms. There are
some schools that have voted to have them. Have students imagine
that uniforms have been selected for use in their school. What colors
would they want their uniforms to be? Scholastic readers voiced
their opinions on what colors they would choose if they had to have
uniforms and this is the results of that vote. Distribute the bar
graph from Scholastic reflecting a vote on school uniform colors.
This graph can be viewed or downloaded from: http://teacher.scholastic.com/kidusasu/uniforms/chart3.htm
Students should also realize that a bar graph represents the amount
in a given category. Each color is represented by a different bar
and the height represents the number voting for that color.
Step 3:
Ask your students: What information appears in this bar graph?
(Answer: The number of votes increases in increments of 50 up to
500 votes and the colors voters liked including Blue, White, Red,
Green, Yellow, Black and Other. "Other" includes: Purple,
Teal, Brown, Orange and Gold.) How is it organized? (Votes are by
gender: Male and Female.) What are the favorite colors of males
and females? (Both males and females prefer black. Black received
the most votes and the bars are tallest for black, making it visually
easy to spot the answer.) Other types of graphs and charts involving
Scholastic surveys on a variety of issues (for further class discussion)
can be found at:
http://teacher.scholastic.com/ilp/index.asp?SubjectID=3&SubheadID=32&TopicID=78.
Step 4:
Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION,
asking students to describe how Hacker convinces Ms. Fileshare that
he should be hired to exterminate the Cybrary. PLAY
the tape from the opening of the episode with Ms. Fileshare saying,
"The cybrary is the place to go when you need to know."
PAUSE the tape when you hear Buzz and Delete say,
"We're in, Boss. Your plan worked." Check for comprehension
by asking students how Hacker convinced Ms. Fileshare. (Hacker convinced
Ms. Flieshare by showing her a bar graph comparing the number of
bugs that heas "The Vermin Vexer"has exterminated.
He compares his graph to another exterminator, and it appears as
though he has exterminated many more bugs) Ask your students what
the first thing you notice is when you look at a bar graph (the
height of the bars). REWIND the tape until you
see a clear image of Hacker's bar graph showing the bugs that the
Vermin Vexer has caught. PAUSE video. Ask your
students what is missing from Hacker's graph? What was on the Scholastic
graphs that is missing from Hacker's? (There are no numbers on the
yaxis, so there is no way to judge the scale of the graph.)
Step 1:
Explain that in the "Raising the Bar" episode, the Cyberkids
have to convince Ms. Fileshare that the cybrary has more bugs that
she realizes. CUE the video to the point where
Inez states that "Things are getting worse." Provide the
students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, asking
them to determine how the Cyberchase kids' use Digit's idea of stacking
library carts to convince Ms. Fileshare? PAUSE
the video when Ms. Fileshare says, "I'm convinced. Come with
me." Check for comprehension, and ask students how the Cyberchase
kids' used Digit's idea. (Answer: Digit used a visual way of easily
showing a comparison of numbers when he showed how much work he
did compared to the others. It is presented in a bar graph form.
The Cyberchase kids then make their own bar graph to convince Ms.
Fileshare..) Ask students how Matt shows how many bugs are in the
cybrary? How did they take that chart to Ms. Fileshare? Which section
of the cybrary has the most bugs? What is Ms. Fileshare's reaction
to Matt's evidence? (Answer: Matt stacks the library carts to show
how many bugs were in each part of the library. Inez makes a portable
version of Matt's graph, which is a bar graph, to take to Ms. Fileshare.
The history section has the most bugs. Ms. Fileshare is now convinced
that the cybrary has a bug problem. ) If necessary, REWIND
to confirm answers or allow students more time to obtain the information.
Step 2:
Provide students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION
by asking students to explain why Ms. Fileshare doesn't think that
the bug problem is as big as the Cyberchase kids do. PLAY
from the previous pause point until you see Matt say, "She
won't believe anything I say ever again. PAUSE
the video. Check for comprehension, and ask your students why Ms.
Fileshare doesn't think the problem is very big. (Hacker showed
her a graph that made the bug problem look very small.) Again, ask
your students what both Hacker and the Cyberchase kids left off
of their graphs (There are no numbers on the yaxis, and no scale
to the graph.) CUE the video until you see Jackie
hold out her arms and say, "Hold on, make room, I gotta pace."
Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION,
asking them to determine how the Cyberkids figure out how that Hacker
manipulated the bar graph using the correct numbers to hide the
truth? PLAY the tape. PAUSE the
video clip when Matt says, "He didn't have to, he wanted to,
to hide the truth." Check for comprehension, asking students
how the Cyberchase kids determined that Hacker manipulated the bar
graph. (They compare scales. Their scale on their bar graph goes
up to 14 which is the most bugs caught. Hacker's scale goes up to
105,in increments of 15, so when he makes a bar graph with 14 bugs
caught, it appears very small.)
Step 3:
Bianca, in Cyberchase for Real, wants to be employee of the month.
Both she and Harry have been selling refreshments at the movie theater
and use bar graphs to show how successful they have been. Both have
the same amount of sales, but the bars on Harry's graph looks much
taller. Bianca has to figure out why hers appears so short, giving
the impression that she has not sold as many refreshments. CUE
the video to the beginning of the Cyberchase for Real segment. Provide
students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION by
asking, "How does Bianca fix her bar graph to reflect that
she also has $4000 in sales?" Have students discuss what needs
to be done so that both graphs appear the same. That way they can
both win the free movie tickets? PLAY the videotape
until you see Bianca holding up her new graph with Harry's showing
that each sold $4000. PAUSE the videotape. Check
for comprehension by having students respond with answers. (ANSWER:
Bianca showed the theater manager that she and Harry were both successful
and should both be Employee of the Month in refreshment sales by
saying that her bar graph had a smaller scale than Harry's. The
scales were different, and that made the bar graphs look different.
They both actually sold the same number of refreshment sales and
both were winners.) REWIND if necessary to obtain
the correct answer.
Step 4:
Ask your students to log on to the Cyberchase: Bugs in the System
site at http://pbskids.org/cyberchase/games/bargraphs/bargraphs.html.
Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION,
asking your students to complete the activity on the site, and get
rid of the bugs in each room of the cybrary. After your students
have completed the activity, ask your students what made the activity
challenging? Why was it sometimes necessary to use the graph scaler?
(Student answers will vary.)
Step 1:
Tell students that there is a problem
on the International Space Station (ISS). The astronauts on the
International Space Station are using the ham radio to speak live
with their families. However, Mission Control believes that the
astronauts are making too many calls, and this chatty behavior is
costing NASA a fortune. The astronauts and Mission Control officials
must each present their case to Congress in the form of a bar graph
to support their argument. The Mission Control officials must convince
Congress that the astronauts are making too many ham radio calls.
The astronauts must convince Congress that they are not making too
many ham radio calls. Each group will be making a graph based on
the same data.
Step 2:
Write the following data on the board. Tell students that
the data reflects the names of astronauts and the number of phone
calls each astronauts made during a one month period:
Peggy Whitson: 12 calls
Chris Hadfield: 15 calls
Sally Ride: 23 calls
Ellen Baker: 17 calls
Michael Foale: 25 calls
Ed Lu: 13 calls
Step 3:
Divide your class into groups of four students. Within each
group, ask two students to assume the role of astronauts and two
students to assume the role of Mission Control officials. Ask
a student to again explain what the goal of the astronauts is
(The astronauts' goal is to create a bar graph that will convince
Congress that they are not making too many ham radio calls.) Ask
another student to explain what the goal of the Mission Control
officials is (The Mission Control officials' goal is to create
a bar graph that will convince Congress that the astronauts are
making too many ham radio calls.)
Step 4:
Ask your students how the astronauts might make a bar graph
using the data that will look like the astronauts are making very
few ham radio calls (The astronauts should use a scale on the
yaxis that uses much larger number numbers than the number of
ham radio calls. For example, make the scale go from 1 to 100,
increasing in increments of 10. If students cannot describe this
concept, ask them to recall what Hacker did to make it look as
though he did a good job exterminating the bugs in the cybrary.)
Step 5:
Ask your students how the Mission Control officials might make
a bar graph using that data that will look like the astronauts
are making a lot of ham radio calls (The Mission Control officials
should use a smaller scale on the yaxis, to make the number of
calls appear larger. For example make the scale go from 0 to 26,
increasing in increments of one.)
Step 6:
Distribute graph paper to your students. Ask your students
to create a graph based on the role they are playing.
Step 7:
After students have completed their graphs, ask all of the
astronauts to come up to the front of the room and display their
graphs. In role as a member of Congress, react to the information
as it is presented on the astronauts' graphs (If the astronauts
have done their job, the graph will appear as though very few
phone calls were made.)
Step 8:
Ask all of the Mission Control officials to come up to the
front of the room and display their graphs. In role as a member
of Congress, react to the information as it is presented on the
Mission Control graphs. (If the officials have done their job,
the graph will appear as though a lot of phone calls were made.)
Step 9:
As a member of Congress, ask your students to explain to you
why the data on the two different sets of graphs appears so different
on each set of graphs? How can the data be presented more equally?
Step 10:
Ask your students to log on to the Bar Graph Creator Web site
at http://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/graphing/bar.asp.
Provide your students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION,
asking your students to create a bar graph that displays the astronauts'
phone call data fairly.
Science – Ask students to use a bar graph
to track high and low temperatures in their city for a week.
Social Studies and current events – Ask students
to collect various cell phone advertisements and graph either the
cost of the plans or monthly minutes.
English/Language Arts Ask students to do a survey
and make a bar graph of the most popular types of books the class
reads. Categories might be mystery, science fiction, adventure,
sports or animals.
Ask a Ham Radio enthusiast to come in to your classroom and discuss
their hobby, costs involved, etc.
Collect graphs from newspapers and magazines to track how bar graphs
are used in the media. Display them on the bulletin board.
Work with the school cafeteria staff to track data on the number
of meals sold in the cafeteria each day for a week. Create bar graphs
based on the data.

