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...Analyzing Temperature
Activity Summary: In this activity, students will use temperature data they collect to explore the concepts of mean, median, mode and range, as well as the representation of data in different types of graphs and plots. Subject:
Math: Statistics, Measurement, Data Analysis, Representation.
Grade Level:
Target Grade: 7
Lower Bound: 7
Upper Bound: 8
Time Required: One 50 minute class period.Materials List:
Analyzing Temperature Worksheet
Newspapers, computers with internet access, or thermometer
Graph paper
Activity Plan:
Using the newspaper, HYPERLINK "http://www.weather.com" www.weather.com, or another source, each student should choose a city and record the daily high temperatures for that city for a period of 10-14 consecutive days (preferably actual temperatures, but forecasts can be used if necessary). Alternatively, the class could record the temperature outside at a designated location at the same time each day for two weeks before starting the activity.
The students should record their data both chronologically and ordered from lowest temperature to highest on the worksheet.
The students will proceed to calculate the mean, median, mode and range of the data as instructed on the worksheet.
The students will then use the chronological data to represent the data in both a bar graph and a line graph. Then, after marking the quartiles on the ordered data, they will create a box-and-whisker plot of the data and answer questions about the graphs.
Assessment:
The teacher should check the students worksheets for accuracy of calculations and comprehension of the concepts. The discussion questions which are answered below are useful to evaluate the students ability to analyze data and distinguish between the usefulness of different types of graphs to represent different types of data. These questions should be answered by the students on the worksheet and then discussed as a class. It may also be useful to share the definitions of the two types of graphs given below.
1. Were the mean and median different for your temperature data? Answers vary, but unlikely to be equal.
2. Which of the three constructed diagrams do you feel is the best choice to represent the data that you collected? Why? Line graph, it shows the most information since it illustrates the changes in the data from day to day.
3. Give 2 examples of data that might best be represented by a:Line graph: Hourly traffic rates, A baseball players monthly batting average over a seasonBar graph: Favorite animals, colors, etc. in the class, Number of each color of M&Ms in a bag
Activity Extensions:
For homework or in class, the students could choose one of the examples discussed in class for data that could be expressed in either a line or bar graph. The student would collect the necessary data (using the internet, a survey, etc.), calculate any applicable statistics (mean, median, mode, range), and create a graph of the data.
7th Grade Math TEKS:
7.4 (B) Graph data to demonstrate relationships using familiar concepts
7.11 (A) Select and use an appropriate representation for presenting data
7.11 (B) Make inferences and convincing arguments based on analysis of data
7.12 (A) Describe a set of data using mean, median, mode, and range
7.12 (B) Choose among mean, median, mode, or range to describe a set of data
7.13 (A) Identify and apply mathematics to everyday experiences
Prerequisites for this Activity:
The students should be familiar with the statistical concepts of mean, median, mode, and range, as well as some familiarity with graphing before beginning the activity.
Vocabulary / Definitions:
Mean - the average value of a set of numbers
Median - the middle value in a distribution, above and below which lie an equal number of values
Mode - the number or range of numbers in a set that occurs most frequently
Range - the difference or interval between the smallest and largest values in a frequency distribution
Bar graph - a graph consisting of parallel, usually vertical bars or rectangles with lengths proportional to the frequency with which specified quantities occur in a set of data
Line graph - a diagram of lines made by connected data points which represent successive changes in the value of a variable quantity or quantities
Box-and-whisker plot - a diagram used to illustrate the distribution of data into quartiles
Quartiles - the three points that divide an ordered distribution into four parts each containing one quarter of the values
Authors: Undergraduate Fellow: Ryan Newman
Graduate Fellow: Ryan Pedrigi Date Submitted: 1/22/06Date Last Edited: 1/22/06
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