School Improvement in Maryland

Gr. 3 Unit: Represent & Interpret

Unit Overview

As students work with data in Grades K-5, they build foundations for their study of statistics and probability in Grades 6 and beyond. They also strengthen and apply what they are learning in arithmetic. First and second graders solve addition and subtraction problems in a data context using picture graphs and bar graphs (with single-unit scale) to represent a data set with up to four categories. They solve simple put-together, take-apart, and compare problems using information presented in a bar graph. In addition to this study of categorical data, students in Grade 2 measure lengths to generate a set of measurement data in whole units. They will then decide how to summarize the data set or display it visually. Since they are already familiar with categorical data and bar graphs, students might think it natural to summarize this data set in terms of categories. However, the different lengths measured do not constitute different categories, but rather different measured lengths…which is why this type of data is called ‘measurement data’ rather than ‘categorical data’. Both types of experiences are vital to the development of understanding data and being able to display it correctly.

In Grade 3, students are beginning to learn fraction concepts (3.NF). They understand fraction equivalence in simple cases, and they use visual fraction models to represent and order fractions. Grade 3 students also measure lengths using rulers marked with halves and fourths of an inch. They use their developing knowledge of fraction and number lines to extend their work from the previous grade by working with measurement data involving fractional measurement values. To make a line plot from the data in the table, the student can ascertain the greatest and least values in the data, then construct the line plot with those two values as the endpoints and tick marks appropriately spaced, adding additional Xs or dots for the remaining data collected. Students can pose questions about data presented in line plots, such as how many students obtained measurements larger than 14 1/2 inches. Also in Grade 3, students draw scaled picture graphs (also known as pictographs) and scaled bar graphs in which the symbol in the picture graph or the square in the bar graph could represent, for example, 5 pets. Again students can pose questions that can be answered about the graph by interpreting the data displayed.

Essential Questions:

  • Why is data collected and analyzed?
  • How can information be gathered, recorded, and organized?
  • How do people use data to influence others?
  • How can predictions be made based on data?
  • How does the type of data influence the choice of display?
  • How does the way we display data influence our interpretation of it?
  • How does collecting data help us solve problems or make decisions in our world?
  • What aspects of a graph help people understand and interpret the data easily?
  • What kind of questions can and cannot be answered from a graph?

A question is essential when it stimulates multi-layered inquiry, provokes deep thought and lively discussion, requires students to consider alternatives and justify their reasoning, encourges re-thinking of big ideas, makes meaningful connections with prior learning, and provides students with opportunities to apply problem-solving skills to authentic situations.

Unit Lesson

Additional information such as Teachers Notes, Enduring Understandings,Content Emphasis by Cluster, Focus Standards, Possible Student Outcomes, Essential Skills and Knowledge Statements and Clarifications, and Interdisciplinary Connections can be found in this Lesson Unit.

Available Model Lesson Plans

The lesson plan(s) have been written with specific standards in mind. Each model lesson plan is only a MODEL - one way the lesson could be developed. We have NOT included any references to the timing associated with delivering this model. Each teacher will need to make decisions related ot the timing of the lesson plan based on the learning needs of students in the class. The model lesson plans are designed to generate evidence of student understanding.

This chart indicates one or more lesson plans which have been developed for this unit. Lesson plans are being written and posted on the Curriculum Management System as they are completed. Please check back periodically for additional postings.

CCSC Alignment: 3.MD.B.3-4

Student measure related objects to collect and graph measurement data. They answer questions about the data displayed in a graph. Students create a scaled picture graph to represent a data set with up to four categories. They create a scaled bar graph to represent a data set with up to four categories. Students create a line plot using whole numbers, halves, and fourths to display measurement data. They solve one- and two-step “how many more” and “how many less” problems using information presented in scaled bar graphs.

Available Model Lesson Seeds

The lesson seed(s) have been written with specific standards in mind. These suggested activity/activities are not intended to be prescriptive, exhaustive, or sequential; they simply demonstrate how specific content can be used to help students learn the skills described in the standards. Seeds are designed to give teachers ideas for developing their own activities in order to generate evidence of student understanding.

This chart indicates one or more lesson seeds which have been developed for this unit. Lesson seeds are being written and posted on the Curriculum Management System as they are completed. Please check back periodically for additional postings.

CCSC Alignnment: 3.MD.B.3-4

In teams, students record the number of jumping jacks done by each student, graph the results, and compare the data.