Quick summary: 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.
This lesson is the second in a series of three lessons that will enable students to analyse, visualise and effectively communicate data. The entire unit of work can be downloaded from the following link, Citizen Science – Mathematics – Years 7 & 8.
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.
- Students are able to use raw data to present and communicate an underlying message
- Students understand which types of graphs are better at communicating given data
- Students understand how conclusions can be drawn from graphs
21st century skills:
Australian Curriculum Mapping
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.
Topics: Biodiversity, climate change, sustainability
Time required: 75 min.
Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – teacher will prompt class discussions and facilitate group work.
Resources required: 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.
Keywords: Earthwatch, ClimateWatch, Data, graphs, bias, climate change, phenology, biodiversity.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.