Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hands-On Graphs and Plots

We learned and reviewed different kinds of graphs and plots with this hands-on activity. First, we started with a graphing kit (a bag with the manipulatives and cut outs for the activities). Here is what we did to learn about these graphs and plots:
 Bar Graph
Materials: different colored and lengths of math rods and graph paper.
What we did:The girls created a bar graph by drawing a horizontal line across the bottom portion of their graph paper, and a vertical line along the left side of the graph paper. They had to leave enough room to write the data information. Then they lined up the rods vertically along that line. Then they determined what they wanted their data to be and wrote it on their graph. One daughter taped her  bars on so she could lift the paper.

Broken-Line Graph

Materials: chocolate chips for the points and toothpicks for the lines with large grid graphing paper
What we did: The girls placed their chocolate chips at different points on their graph. Then they connected them with the toothpicks. They could have simply connected them by drawing a line with a pencil. They also chose what their data would be and included it. Then they got to eat the chocolate chips.


Materials: stickers and large-grid graph paper
What we did: The girls were given a sticker sheet with a variety of stickers. They put the same kind of stickers in a row on the graph paper. Because there was a different number of each kind of sticker, the length of each row was different.

Stem and Leaf Plot
Materials: a "stem" and "leaf" cut out of green paper, dice, and markers
What we did: After learning how to make a stem and leaf plot, the girls rolled two dice to get a two-digit number. They wrote the number down, and then did it five more times. Then they wrote all the tens digits on the green stem. Then they glued the leaf to the stem in such a way that they could write the ones on the leaf in the way that you do with a stem and leaf plot on paper.

Box and Whiskers Plot
Materials: rectangle paper, ruler, and markers
What we did: The girls used a ruler to make and label a number line by tens from 0-100. Then we learned where to place dots when making this kind of plot. You are dividing a list of numbers in four parts. You first have to line them up from smallest to largest. Then you make a dot below the number line under the smallest of those numbers and another one below the largest one. Then you have to make another dot exactly under the middle point, which you find by finding the median of the numbers. Then you put a dot below the middle point between the middle dot and the dots on each end. To do that you have to find the median number between the numbers represented by those dots. After the girls did that, then they learned how to make a "whisker" by connecting the two dots on each side, and how to draw a box around the dot in the middle. Then I let them decorate them by adding more whiskers and making a face in the box.
Scatter Plot
Materials: frosting decorator dots and paper
What we did: The girls scattered a few decorator frosting dots on graph paper to represent the scattered dots in a scatter plot. Then we talked about what kind of data might be represented on a scatter plot. Then the girls got to eat the decorator dots.

Circle Graph
Materials: White 4" paper circles, Pie-shaped pieces of different colored paper cut from 4" circles

What we did: The girls chose which colored pieces they wanted to glue onto their white circle so the "pie" was completely covered and showed different colored sections. Then they labeled the sections to represent the kind of data that might be included in a circle graph.

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