Lesson plan

6. Find the line of best fit (FP)

teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.8.SP.A.2 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/8/SP/A/2
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP5 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP5
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Lesson objective: Determine a line of best fit for a scatter plot by using two points to find the equation of a line.

This lesson helps to build procedural skill with a line of best fit. A scatter plot is used here because it highlights the linear association between the variables. This work develops students' understanding that bivariate data may not have an exact linear association, but a linear model if often used to describe the association.

Students engage in Mathematical Practice 5 (Use appropriate tools strategically) as they use a scatter plot to decide which points best represent the linear association between variables and use those points to find an equation of the line of best fit.

Key vocabulary:

  • bivariate data
  • dependent variable
  • horizontal change
  • independent variable
  • intercept
  • line of best fit
  • linear association
  • linear model
  • negative association
  • patterns of association
  • positive association
  • slope
  • vertical change
  • y-intercept

Special materials needed:

  • uncooked spaghetti noodle or another thin straight edge