Summing it Up: Dot Plots, Histograms and Box Plots

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SWBAT correctly represent data distributions with plots on a real number line. SWBAT use dot plots, histograms and box plots to model populations.

Big Idea

Students will learn different ways to represent and interpret data!

Entry Ticket

10 minutes

Student will complete the Entry Ticket: Dot Plots Histograms Box Plots where they have to describe a data set without explicit instruction on different ways to represent data. This entry ticket is designed to activate student’s prior knowledge around representing data. The entry ticket is also set up to have students think about the utility or relevance of why representing data in different ways is important.  

Academic Vocabulary:


Dot Plot





*Note: place academic vocabulary on word wall as a strategy to assist students in learning academic vocabulary. 





Explicit Instruction and Active Note-taking

30 minutes

After the entry ticket, I will review the PowerPoint Slides: Summing It up: Dot Plots, Histograms, and Box Plots on representing data. The slides go through each type of representation (dot plot, histogram and box plot along with a visual example of each to provide multiple means of representation and access to a wide range of students.

During this time, I am providing students with explicit instruction and students are actively taking two-column notes. 

Each of the three representations also have a Turn and Talk prompt for students to practice and discuss the skill with each other. I ask students to make a dot plot, histogram and box plot for the data presented during the entry ticket to provide students with an opportunity to know the data better and to get an idea on how the same data can be used in different ways.

The Turn and Talks act as a form of guided practice for students to work on after reviewing each type of representation. For example, after providing explicit instruction on creating box plots, students have an opportunity to create their own box plot with a partner. During the tun and talks my role shifts to more as a facilitator, checking in with students and helping them stay on task.


Collaborative Work or Exit Ticket

15 minutes

To wrap up work on box plots, histograms and dot plots, I will ask my students to work on the Collaborative Work/Exit Ticket: Histogram Box Plots and Dot Plots to show their understanding of the day's main learning objectives. 

This activity can be utilized by the teacher in a number of ways. Students can work on the Exit Ticket as a collaborative activity where they work in groups. Alternatively, the Exit Ticket can be used as a formative assessment where students complete the assignment independently. 

Our City Statistics Project - Creating Summary Displays of Data

40 minutes

To conclude today's lesson I have students work in groups on their collaborative project: Our City Statistics Project Overview

For this particular working session, I recommend students work on creating a dot plot, histogram or box plot for their Our City Statistics project (see the Project: Our City Statistics Assignment Sheet for an overview of the project and expectations for students).


This both provides students with additional practice on the skills learned in today’s class and also gives them time to complete an important aspect of their group project. Larger groups can be split in two, with each subgroup creating a different representation – half the group makes a box plot, the other makes a histogram, for example.

As a reflection and/or extension, the teacher can ask students to think about the different ways they could have represented the data, and to explain the benefits to representing the data in the way that their group ultimately chose. For example, perhaps outliers are more obvious on a boxplot than a different representation.