Lesson 3
Which One?
These materials, when encountered before Algebra 1, Unit 1, Lesson 3 support success in that lesson.
3.1: Math Talk: What Was the Final Temperature? (5 minutes)
Warmup
The purpose of this Math Talk is to elicit strategies and understandings students have for mental subtraction. These understandings help students develop fluency and will be helpful later in this lesson when students will need to be able to compute interquartile range.
Launch
Display one problem at a time. Give students quiet think time for each problem and ask them to give a signal when they have an answer and a strategy. Keep all problems displayed throughout the talk. Follow with a wholeclass discussion.
Student Facing
Mentally evaluate the final temperature in each scenario.
The temperature was 20 degrees Celsius and it dropped 18 degrees.
The temperature was 20 degrees Celsius and it dropped 20 degrees.
The temperature was 20 degrees Celsius and it dropped 25 degrees.
The temperature was 20 degrees Celsius and it dropped 33 degrees.
Student Response
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Activity Synthesis
Ask students to share their strategies for each problem. Record and display their responses for all to see. To involve more students in the conversation, consider asking:
 “Who can restate \(\underline{\hspace{.5in}}\)’s reasoning in a different way?”
 “Did anyone have the same strategy but would explain it differently?”
 “Did anyone solve the problem in a different way?”
 “Does anyone want to add on to \(\underline{\hspace{.5in}}\)’s strategy?”
 “Do you agree or disagree? Why?”
3.2: Best Representation (20 minutes)
Activity
Previously, students learned and reviewed how to construct box plots and dot plots. In this activity, students will practice constructing these. If they recall how to construct histograms from previous instruction, this is an opportunity to practice. If necessary, demonstrate how to construct a histogram. They will extend their thinking about data representations to understanding when and how each one is useful in analyzing data.
Launch
Either measure each student’s height, or ask students to report their height in inches. Poll the class and display the list of heights for all to see. (If you use a different question other than asking about height, ensure it is a question with a range of responses similar to student height in inches, something like 48–76.)
If student data is unavailable or if there are not enough students to create a useful display of data, use the data about the height of students in a small class:
 60
 60
 60
 63
 63
 65
 65
 65
 65
 67
 67
 70
 70
 70
 70
 70
 72
 72
 72
Arrange students in groups of 3 or 4. Allow students to work together to create the different representations. If necessary, demonstrate how to create one of the histograms and allow students to practice by creating the others. If time is limited, encourage students to assign a graph to each group member and to take a look at each other’s graphs when they have completed them.
Student Facing
Use the class data to create a dot plot, box plot, and three histograms, each with different bin sizes.

Create a dot plot.

Create a box plot.

Create a histogram using intervals of length 20.

Create a histogram using intervals of length 10.

Create a histogram using intervals of length 5.
 Which of these representations would you use to summarize your class’ data: the dot plot, the box plot, or one of the histograms? Explain your reasoning.
Student Response
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Anticipated Misconceptions
Students sometimes forget the characteristics of each graph. Encourage them to ask people in their group for assistance and provide previously constructed box plots, dot plots, and histograms as references.
Students often confuse histograms with bar graphs. Histograms are used for representing a distribution of numerical data along a continuum, while bar graphs are used for displaying categorical data, but it's not crucial that students can explain this difference. However, ensure that students are creating proper histograms (with the intervals touching).
When constructing the intervals, students may not know which data points to include in a given range. In these materials, the lower bound of each interval is included and the upper bound is not. For example, if the intervals are 60–70 and 70–80, then 70 would be included in the second interval. Ensure that this rule is applied consistently.
Activity Synthesis
Select several students or groups to share their preferred representations and their explanations. If not already mentioned by students, discuss the different insights that each display offers, or different challenges it poses. Ensure that students notice how each graph provides different information even when they are all displaying the same data set. Here are sample questions to prompt class discussion:
 “What information can we get from using a dot plot to display the data?” (It displays everyone’s height in the class. This gives us more insight in to the center of the data than a box plot.)
 "What information can we get from using a box plot to display the data? (It provides a summary of the data as well as where the median is located.)
 “Does the histogram give meaningful snapshot of the distribution?” (A histogram gives meaningful insight into the spread of everyone’s height in the class because we can see how much the numbers range just by looking.)
 “How did your graphs differ from one another?” (The histograms showed different shapes of the data sets. With each different interval size, the shape changes.)
 “Did all three types of graphs display the same information?” (No, the box plot showed the median, and the dot plot and histograms do not.)
 “How were all three histograms alike or different?” (They were alike because the same data points were included in each. They were different because they each used different intervals. Using a smaller bin size makes the distribution look more like the dot plot.)
 "To know the range and median at a glance, which would you use?" (box plot)
3.3: Which One? (15 minutes)
Activity
Previously, students practiced constructing and interpreting data representations. In the first activity in this lesson, students were introduced to the idea that each representation can be used for different reasons. In this activity, students will further practice interpreting data by agreeing or disagreeing with statements about the information presented in data displays.
Launch
Ensure students understand that each question has two parts: agreeing or disagreeing with the claim, then explaining a reasoning, including identifying which data display was useful.
Student Facing
There are several baskets on a table, and each basket contains a certain number of strawberries. Here are three data displays showing the number of strawberries in each basket.
 Kiran makes these claims. For each claim, decide whether you agree or disagree. Explain your reasoning using at least one of the data displays.
 There are 4 baskets that contain 11 strawberries.
 The range of the number of strawberries in baskets can be found using any of the three data displays.
 The number of baskets of strawberries can only be found using the dot plot.
 The interquartile range can be found using the dot plot or box plot, but is easiest with the box plot.
 The total number of strawberries in all the baskets can only be determined from the dot plot.
 Complete the table to show the frequency of baskets containing strawberries in each range. Which representation did you use?
number of strawberries  frequency 

0–6  
6–12  
12–18 
Student Response
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Activity Synthesis
Students should understand that each display shows certain information, and they can choose a type of display to help them answer specific questions. Some of the displays cannot answer certain questions, and some questions can be answered using multiple displays, but may be more easily seen in one type than in another. Select students to share their solutions. Some questions for discussion:
 “What information can be easily found in both dot plots and box plots?” (The range of the data and clusters of data can be seen in both dot plots and box plots.)
 “Overall, what types of questions do box plots help answer? Histograms?”(Box plots help answer questions specifically about quartiles, interquartile range, range, median, lowest value, and highest value. Histograms help answer questions about ranges of data points and the shape of the distribution.)
 “If the histogram had bin sizes of 5, how would the graph’s display change? Would this graph be more useful for filling in the frequency table than the current histogram?” (If the bin sizes were 5, then the histogram would have fewer bins than it currently does. No, it would not be more useful for filling in the frequency table, because the frequency table has intervals of 6, and the histogram would have intervals of 5. It would be difficult to determine which data points to include from an interval of 5–10 in a frequency table that has 6–12.)
The goal of the lesson is for students to be able to determine which data representation will be most useful, given what information they need from a data set. Discuss how students knew which data representation is most useful in answering the questions. Here are sample questions to promote a class discussion:
 “Were there any patterns in the questions you chose to use a dot plot (or histogram and box plot) to answer?” (I noticed all the questions that I used a dot plot to answer were questions about frequencies or accounting for each individual data point.)
 “How did you know which data representation would be most useful in finding your answers?” (I thought about what the question asked, then connected that to the characteristics of each graph.)