In this lesson, students build skills in identifying and constructing the most appropriate graphs to display real phenological data on the breeding habits of magpies. Students will consider the different ways data representation can be used to look for trends in the environment before making recommendations based on their finding.
- use raw data to present and communicate an underlying message
- understand which types of graphs are better at communicating given data
- Students understand how conclusions can be drawn from graphs
- organise and graphically represent data to communicate a perspective
- draw conclusions and make decisions based on data sets
- consider how misleading graphs are used to influence opinion
- construct a range of graphs using phenology data, comparing their effectiveness to communicate facts
Lesson guides and printables
Australian curriculum content descriptions:
Year 7 Mathematics:
- Identify and investigate issues involving numerical data collected from primary and secondary sources (ACMSP169)
- Construct and compare a range of data displays including stem-and-leaf plots and dot plots (ACMSP170)
Year 8 Mathematics:
- Investigate techniques for collecting data, including census, sampling and observation (ACMSP284)
Syllabus outcomes: MA4-1WM, MA4-3WM, MA4-19SP.
General capabilities: Numeracy, Critical and Creative Thinking
Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability
Relevant parts of Year 7 achievement standards: Students construct stem-and-leaf plots and dot-plots.
Relevant parts of Year 8 achievement standards: Students choose appropriate language to describe events and experiments. They explain issues related to the collection of data and the effect of outliers on means and medians in that data.
Time required: 75 min.
Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – teacher will prompt class discussions and facilitate group work.
- Student Worksheets and Graph Factsheet– one copy each per student
- Device capable of presenting a video to the class
- Enough computers or laptops with Excel installed to enable student to work in pairs or small groups
- Flowering Plant Data, Magpie Data Set and Temperature Phenology Graphs loaded onto students’ computers or laptops
- Class set of graph paper, rulers, pens and pencils
- Sticky tape
This lesson is designed to build students’ competencies in the following skills:
- Critical thinking
- Digital literacy
The lessons in this unit have been developed in partnership with Earthwatch.
Earthwatch developed the ClimateWatch program with the Bureau of Meteorology and The University of Melbourne to understand how changes in temperature and rainfall are affecting the seasonal behaviour of Australia’s plants and animals.