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Lesson plan

Lesson 2: Data Representations

teaches Common Core State Standards HSS-ID.A.1 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/HSS/ID/A/1
teaches Common Core State Standards MP7 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP7
teaches Common Core State Standards MP2 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP2

Lesson 2: Data Representations

This lesson is optional because it revisits below grade-level content. If the pre-unit diagnostic assessment indicates that your students know the representations well, this lesson may be safely skipped.

In grade 6, students displayed numerical data in plots on a number line, including dot plots, histograms, and box plots. This lesson serves as a brief review of the meaning of these representations and how they are created.

In this lesson, students represent data using histograms and box plots. They calculate values for the five-number summary and use those values to create dot plots. Students will also create two different histograms that represent the same data set by using different intervals in each of the histograms. Students will also compare a dot plot, box plot, and histogram that represent the same data set. When students identify the information displayed by different graphical representations they are building knowledge about when to use appropriate tools so that they can make choices about how to represent data.

Students make use of structure (MP7) to connect visual representations of data sets and students reason abstractly and quantiatively (MP2) by interpreting values in the given contexts.

Lesson overview

  • 2.1 Warm-up: Notice and Wonder: Battery Life (5 minutes)
  • 2.2 Optional Activity: Tomato Plants: Histogram (15 minutes)
    • Includes "Are you Ready for More?" extension problem
  • 2.3 Optional Activity: Tomato Plants: Box Plot (10 minutes)
  • Lesson Synthesis
  • 2.4 Cool-down: Reasoning About Representations (5 minutes) 

Learning goals:

  • Create a dot plot, histogram, and box plot to represent numerical data.
  • Identify (in writing) the five-number summary that describes given statistical data.
  • Interpret a box plot that represents a data set.

Learning goals (student facing):

  • Let’s represent and analyze data using dot plots, histograms, and box plots.

Learning targets (student facing):

  • I can find the five-number summary for data.
  • I can use a dot plot, histogram, or box plot to represent data.


  • distribution - For a numerical or categorical data set, the distribution tells you how many of each value or each category there are in the data set.
  • five-number summary - The five-number summary of a data set consists of the minimum, the three quartiles, and the maximum. It is often indicated by a box plot like the one shown, where the minimum is 2, the three quartiles are 4, 4.5, and 6.5, and the maximum is 9.


  • Access the complete Algebra 1 glossary. 


  • This lesson builds on the standard: CCSS.6.SP.B.4MS.6.SP.4MO.6.DSP.B.4a
  • This lesson builds towards the standards: CCSS.HSS-ID.A.1MS.S-ID.1CCSS.HSS-ID.A.2MS.S-ID.2MO.A1.DS.A.1MO.A1.DS.A.2






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