Lesson: Analyzing a Stem and Leaf Plot

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Lesson Objective

SWBAT read and analyze a stem and leaf plot.

Lesson Plan


6DASP.1 – Describe and compare data sets using the concepts of median, mean, mode , maximum, and range.

6DASP.3 – Construct, label and interpret stem and leaf plots


Key Points

SWBAT read and analyze a stem and leaf plot.

·         Stem and leaf plots is a combination of a table and graph that displays numerical data

·         Stem and leaf plots are organized by tens – which are called “stems”

·         “Leaves” represent the ones digit of a number and should be matched to the ten “leaf” on the same line

·         Stem and leaf plots help to show the shape of the data



1.       The stem and leaf plot below shows the ages of people who attended the Mayor’s speech.


Ages, in Years, of People Who Attended Mayor’s Speech


2  5  8  8  9


1  1  2  2  3  5  5  7  8


0  1  3  4  5  5  8  8  8 


2  3  5  5  5  6  7  9  9


0  2  3  3  4  5  8


2  4  5  7  7  8


0  1  4  8





Key:  2|4 means 24 years old

What is the total number of people younger than 30 years old who attended the speech?

a. 12

b. 81

c. 14

d. 60


2.       The stem-and-leaf plot below shows the number of minutes each of Mr. Jennings’ students spent practicing multiplication facts.

Minutes Spent Practicing





  0   0

  5   8

  0   0   5   7

  5   9



    What is the mode (median/range) of the stem and leaf plot?



Warm Up: (5 mins)

·         Find the mean, median, mode and range



Opening:  6 minutes

·         Yesterday we learned about a new way to display data. 

·         Give students in section1 a graph, section2 a narrative and section3 a long list with the same information. 

·         Ask students questions about that information.  Students are using information to answer questions. (How many students liked PB &J best?, how many more students like turkey than bologna…) Students with graph should be able to answer questions the quickest.   

·         Reveal to students that each section had a different way of seeing the data.  Ask students which students were able to answer the questions most easily? 

·         Ask students why we even have displays for data?  What’s the point? 

·         We know that people display data in different types of charts because it makes it easy to read quickly.

Intro: 8 minutes –

·         Students should read key points from previous lesson. 

·         Teacher will ask – what are the key points about a stem and leaf plot?

o    1. Shows numerical data in order

o    2. Leaves are the ones digit of a number

o    3. Stems are the tens digit or if the digit is larger than 2 digits the tens and every place larger. 

·         Tell students that now that we know how to make stem and leaf plots – today we are going to answer questions about the information in a stem and leaf plot.

·         Tell students that I am going to read some typical questions stems and that they have provided for them and that as I model how I find the information  Model answering the following questions with the stem and leaf plot – students are identifying what types of questions each one are:

1.       How many are more than/less than __? 

2.       How many between __ and ___?  

3.       What is the mode? 

4.       What is the median? 

5.       What is the Mean?   

6.       What was the lowest/highest value?

7.       How many were collected altogether? 


Guided Practice:  ( 6 minutes )

o    Have students look at stem and leaf plot in notes sheet.  Ask students questions about the stem and leaf plot.  Ask students to explain how they were able to figure out the answer for each question.   


Independent Practice :  (15 minutes)

o    Students work on Multiple Choice activity

o    Teacher circulates – asking and remediating where needed

o    Teacher to pull group of students


Closing:  5 minutes

o    Students will interview each other to explain what they learned today – Teacher circulates, asks questions to clarify understandings

o    Students share out the key learning from the class period.


Lesson Resources

HW Review Stem   Homework
Stem and Leaf Plots 1 (Houghton Mifflin)   Classwork
Stem and Leaf Plots 2 (Houghton Mifflin)   Classwork


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