|Grade span:||2 to 5|
Description:This sample lesson is one example of how you can implement the Finding Math practice. In this activity, students use nutritional information to analyze data about different snacks and survey their peers to determine the "best" snack.
- Predict the "best" snack, and test the prediction by collecting data
- Organize data using a bar graph and a table
- Find the median
- Understand that data represents specific pieces of information
- Three different snack foods (raisins, pretzels, and peanut-butter crackers), enough for each group of students
- Nutritional information for each snack
- Paper and pencil
- Ziplock bags
- Copies of the Data Collection Table, Sample, and Survey Handout (PDF)
- Divide snack food into baggies for each group of students.
- Make copies of the nutritional information for each snack, including the price of each.
What to Do:
- Ask students to pick a partner to work with. You may want to assign partners.
- Provide space and give out materials (snacks and handouts) to each pair.
- Ask students to think about the snacks they have and to make a prediction about which snack is best.
- Working with students, develop a list of criteria for evaluating the snacks. For example, the best snack might be one that is low fat, inexpensive, and that tastes good. Ask about factors they might consider in determining quality. If the two students working together don't agree, they can find the average between the two ratings.
- Take time to talk about nutrition and healthy amounts of calories, fat, and sodium.
- Using the nutritional information provided, ask each pair of students to complete the data collection table and rate each snack.
- Post all the data on one large table, using poster paper, an overhead transparency, or a chalk board. Refer to the sample table in the handout.
- Ask each pair to describe how they determined the rating for each snack. For example, if one student rated a snack a 3 and the other student rated it a 4, the median would be 3.5.
- Next, conduct a survey to find out what the most popular best snack was among all students. Work with students to create a chart. Refer to the sample survey chart in the handout.
- Using the data from the survey chart students create, ask each pair to make a graph of the results. Refer to the sample graph in the handout.
- Based on the data, decide which snack is the "best." Give students a chance to talk with their partner, and bring the class back together to share ideas. Each pair explains, based on the data, their decision about the best snack, and why they think so. Encourage students to use both sets of data when making a decision. Students can revisit the predictions they made before the data was collected.
- Ask if any of their ideas about what "best" means have changed. Ask, "What is the relationship between the quality rating and your favorite snack?"
- Finally, discuss why the quality rating either matches or doesn't match their favorite snacks.
Evaluate (Outcomes to look for):
- Answers that reflect an understanding of information as data
- An ability to collect and organize data in a sensible way (for example, bar graph, table)
- Answers that reflect an ability to explain reasoning based on the data
- An ability to find a measure of center or median
- Students working together to solve problems and discuss strategies and solutions
Click this link to see additional learning goals, grade-level benchmarks, and standards covered in this lesson.