Stem and Leaf Plots_Activity

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The students will be able to collect their own data, display it and come up with questions to use to analzye it.

Big Idea

This activity is designed so that the students create their own Around the Room activity. They will be collecting data, displaying it in a stem and leaf plot, and then developing questions around their display for other students to answer!


5 minutes

Collecting data and analyzing graphs

60 minutes

Part One:  Choose a group member to survey the class.  This person can be chosen at random. I like to use the colors on their desks to choose.  This way the students know it was chosen at random and you have less complaining about why someone got to do something.  The person that was chosen will have the  job of  using the survey question provided and collecting as much data as they can within the allotted time. (slide 2)  when the students are surveying be sure to remind them there question needs to be posed to each person in the group.  For example,  if asking how many siblings are in their family, they would ask “ How many siblings are in your family?” to each member of the group.  At this time, ask students what would be a good way to keep track of the data collected.  I’m looking for students to say that they would put the data in a frequency table. The teacher should only see 6 – 7 people up and moving around . When the surveyor is chosen, the other students will remain seated and wait to be surveyed.  Some of the survey questions require measuring so be sure there is a measuring tape available to those students.


Once all data is collected and the surveyors are seated, move to slide 3


Part 2:  (slide 3)  Allow groups time to decide on their responsibilities. If groups are having difficulty deciding who will do what job, you can decide for them.  For example, yellow will do…  red will do…green will do… and blue will do…  Once decided, the teams can get to work organizing, displaying and analyzing their data.(MP4) (MP6)(MP3)  At this time, I will be walking around making sure the stem and leaf plots have the following:  stem(10’s place), leaves (1’s place), numbers ordered from least to greatest both vertically and horizontally, title and a key.

As students begin to think about the questions to analyze data, I will be looking for them to ask questions like:  what is the mean, median and mode, how many observations were recorded, what is the greatest data value and what is the least, and I would like them to design a question about the distribution of data.  To get the students to think about their question, I will ask them to think about questions they have been asked to answer throughout this unit.  They can use their notes to help think of questions if needed.


Part 3:  Display student work around the room to use for a gallery walk.  All students in the group will participate in a gallery walk and answer the questions posed on each graph. 


Student graphs can be collected as evidence of student learning.

Tools: Large Graph Paper


15 minutes

Before the students reflect on their cooperative group effectiveness, I will go through each data display.  Questions I might ask:

What would be another question we could use for this display?

Do they have each component needed to display a stem and leaf plot?

What does this data set tell us about our classmates?  (Looking for center, shape and spread type answers)

Reflection time (in their journal)

How well did your group work together?

What was the easiest  part of this activity?

What was the hardest part of this activity?

Tools: Journal

Student Work Samples

1 minutes

There are 3 resources here to provide evidence of student learning.  You will notice there is one sample of work where the students didn't quite get it.  There display is acceptable, but the quetions they ask on their poster are not representative of student learning. They were looking at average monthly temperatures.  They did not make the connection that this meant the temperatures for one month.  


The other 2 samples are exceptional.  The students represented the display and came up with good statistical questions.