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Lesson plan

Lesson 9: What’s the Correlation?

teaches Common Core State Standards MP6 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP6
teaches Common Core State Standards MP3 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP3
teaches Common Core State Standards HSS-ID.C http://www.corestandards.org/the-standards
teaches Common Core State Standards HSS-ID.B http://www.corestandards.org/the-standards

Lesson 9: What’s the Correlation?

The mathematical purpose of this lesson is for students to further investigate the types of relationships that exist between two variables. Students begin to distinguish between correlation and causation. Previously, students practiced determining if two variables have a correlation, and they also determined what type of correlation the two variables shared (positive, negative, strong, and weak). This lesson prepares students to create scenarios in which two variables are correlated or have a causal relationship in the associated Algebra 1 lesson. Students attend to precision (MP6) when they distinguish between correlation and causation and construct viable arguments (MP3) when they explain their reasoning for types of correlations.

Lesson overview

  • 9.1 Warm-up: Which One Doesn’t Belong: Correlations (5 minutes)
  • 9.2 Activity: Correlation Relationships (15 minutes)
  • 9.3 Activity: It Takes Two (20 minutes)

Learning goals:

  • Compare correlation and causation of data in context.

Learning goals (student facing):

  • Let’s reason about correlation of two variables in a situation.


  • This lesson builds towards the standard:CCSS.HSS-ID.C.9MS.S-ID.9MO.A1.DS.A.8






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