What is a Scatter Plot

Maxine Edwards and Mary Teal
The Center for Advancement of Teaching

What is a Scatter Plot?
Lesson Plan
Algebra 1 Level

Objective: To familiarize students with the available data manipulations that can be performed using the CFX-9850G. The operations in this lesson are entering, sorting, transferring, and graphing data lists. After graphing lists, students will be able to discuss the properties of the line of best fit.

Engage: Discuss with students where lists of data can be observed and collected. Discuss with the students available data through newspapers, magazines and the Internet. Have students provide examples of types of data lists.

  1. Using the data provided on the included data sheet (or any other available data), have students draw a scatter plot to represent the data. Special emphasis would be on the title of the graph, and labeling each of the axis of the graph , both units and identification of x and y.
  2. Once the points have been plotted, use a piece of spaghetti to help locate the line of best fit.
  3. Student should draw in the line on the graph.
  4. Student will choose any two points ON THAT LINE and determine the slope.

Explain: Students will discuss the method for determining slope of a line. Discuss the differing results and the reasons for the variations. Have students choose another pair of points on the line and find the slope. Compare those results throughout the class.

  1. Student should have CFX-9850G calculator.
  2. Student will input the data that has been plotted in the List mode. Tell students to place the x variable in List 1 and the y variable in List 2.
  3. Once data has been entered, student will copy the data from List 1 to List 3 and List 2 to List 4.
  4. Student will return to data list 1 and 2 and sort the lists simultaneously.

Evaluate: Give students alternate lists of data to manipulate as instructed. Students could write an explanation for their data observations.

Student Data Sheet

Developed by:
Maxine Edwards and Mary Teal
Butler High School Matthews, NC

additional help from:
Neal Farley
Independence High School
Charlotte, NC