Describing Data Activity

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The students will be able to create and read a glyph.

Big Idea

This is a hands on activity to get the students thinking about how to describe data sets.


5 minutes

Set the stage by explaining to students that they will be creating a glyph.  A glyph is a flexible data representation.  There is an example of a glyph in the NCTM lesson. Tell the students that the class will be collecting data based upon their name.  Tell them we will be using a spreadsheet to record the information.  You can pick a student to record the information. (It would be good to choose someone that has good keyboarding experience.)



Creating a Glyph

55 minutes

 I found this lesson in the illuminations website and thought it would be a great introduction to describing data.  The students will be asked a variety of questions about their name and drawing a visual representation on a piece of paper(glyph).  When students are done, they can display the glyph’s on the board or they can share them in their groups.  Then you will collect the data in a spreadsheet and by looking at the spread sheet and glyphs, students will be able to determine which glyph belongs to what person.  (See NCTM illuminations document)


Resources:  NCTM illuminations document


10 minutes


Use the student questions from the NCTM activity as a close.