Earlier in the day students individually thought of and recorded on paper 20 words or phrases that described kindness. Now I am going to have them move those words into a line graph. Students have made bar graphs several times during the year to display data they have collected. Today I am going to introduce the concept of a line plot graph.
I tell students that they will begin by choosing one symbol of kindness to use on their graph because they will be using that symbol to mark how many of the word they have. I display a line graph on the smart Board so students understand how this display is different from the bar graphs they are used to. The line graph is a new way for students to represent information. I want students to have the ability to use several different types of graphs to display information. I am building up their repertoire so that they have an arsenal of possible tools, including graphing tools, to employ to solve problems. MP5 expects students to be able to use appropriate tools strategically and this is only possible when students have a variety of different tools at their disposal. Today's lesson introduces another tool.
I have compiled the words into a single list. I tell students that they will take the words and display them on the bottom of the graph. They will then count how many times that word or phrase appears ( I took some liberty to rewrite their phrases if some were similar but not exactly word for word). They will count up that many lines on the graph and put their symbol for kindness (i.e. heart, sun, smiley face etc.) at that point. They will repeat this for each of the words.
I also remind students that a graph has a title so they should put a title at the top of the graph.
I ask students what things they will need to remember to be kind to their group mates as they complete this project. We review the rules for working together and then I group students in groups of 4 to complete the graphs.
I circulate around the room to support groups who may be having trouble creating their graphs.
After the groups had completed the graphs, I hung them up at the front of the room. I asked students to return to their seats. I then asked each group to come up, one at a time, and to explain their graph to us. Students got to see the variety of line graphs that each group made to display the categories they had chosen. This further supported how a tool, such as graphing can be used correctly to explain mathematical understanding (MP5).