Interpreting Line Plots (Owl Pellets Day 4)

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SWBAT use line plots to synthesize information and raise more questions.

Big Idea

Students have been investigating owl pellets both mathematically and scientifically. Now, they use the information they have gathered to interpret data and ask higher level thinking questions based on the results.


5 minutes

This lesson requires a short introduction because it is the culminating lesson in a small data unit.  The purpose of the introduction is to provide students with direction and focus for wrapping up their project. 

I start by asking the students to review the two purposes of a line plot. (To organize data so we can see the results and then explore the meaning of data.)

The purpose of todays lesson is to:

• Write 5 - 10 statements about the data you have collected.

• Write 3 - 5 "big questions" that you have developed after "reading" your line plot. 

When all components of the project are complete, students display their work on a large poster.  

Pulling it Together for a Math Museum

40 minutes

Students work to make statements about the data they have collected.  These statements communicate the results of the survey.  The students are asked to make 5-10 statements about their survey data.  These statements can include basic statements and comparison statements.  

Finally, students take time to ask questions about the results they have collected.  This big idea questions come from the students curiosity.  These include "I wonder" and "Why" questions that can't be answered from the data.

Some example of these questions include:

•" I wonder why one owl pellet was so much lighter than the others?"

• "How could I find an odd number of jaw bones?"

When students complete the owl pellet project, they create a final display of their work.  These displays are presented in a Math Museum where the classroom community can share in each other's work.  As a final conclusion, students share compliments with their classmates.

Some suggested sentence starters for these compliments include:

• I noticed _______ .

• Your project stood out to me because ________ .

• If I were to do this again, I might try ________ like _________ .