Essential Questions for students (objectives): How does reading and interpreting graphs help predict the future? How do wildlife scientist use graphs in their jobs?
Supplies: video (length 1:18), note-maker, handouts of graphs
CCSS: 2.MD.10, 3.MD.3, 4.MD.2 Make Sense of Problems, Model with Math TEKS: 4.9B Use Representations, Justify Math Arguments
Time needed: 20 minutes +
Instructional Format: Video, student problem-solving, group or individual work
Lesson Description: There are many ways to use this video in your math class. I filmed it with the express purpose of having students analyze graphs and use estimation with those graphs. Students don't always realize how people use graphs in the real world, not only to represent data, but also to make their jobs easier. Note: the numbers on the graphs and daily counts involve large numbers well above 1,000, so students should have some knowledge of those numbers, or this lesson could be used to introduce those numbers and their uses to science.
1) You can show this video (1:18) at the beginning of a unit on data representations as a hook that will keep the students interested in learning about the importance of creating and using data. You can have them work on the problem at the end of daily lessons (or once a week) armed with new knowledge that they are exploring in class. Students use the note-maker to help record their problem-solving work. Or you could revisit the video at the end of the unit as a formative check to see what the students have learned about data representations and whether they can apply that knowledge.
2) You could show this video as a warm-up activity after the students have learned some basic data representations. It is a great way to show context to graphing that is actually used in the real world.
Extensions: Most of the count information shows the 10 year averages. How might scientists use that information? Why is it important to know?