Lesson Plan Template: General Lesson Plan
Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
Students will be able to calculate the measures of center and spread by gathering data from a series of trials. Then they will interpret the meaning of the data and form a conclusion as it relates to data analysis.
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
Students should know how to calculate mean, median, and inter-quartile range, what each of those elements mean, and the relationship of those items to a data set.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
What type of paper will make a paper airplane fly the farthest?
Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
Days before activity – the teacher will need to use the directions at Fun Paper Airplanes to build the planes (2 of each paper weight so you have 1 back up plane), and purchase or create pre-measured paper. One suggestion would be to use painter's tape and butcher paper or receipt tape to make measurement markings on the floor.
Day of the activity – the teacher will need to clear the room as best as possible to allow enough space to fly the paper airplanes. One desk will be needed for each group and will need to be positioned at the starting point of the measuring tapes. The floor can be marked with painter's tape to denote where each group's desk should be positioned.
- Step 1 - When students enter the room, organize them into groups of five or six (as space allows) and assign each group a particular color that corresponds to colored adhesive dots which will be used for marking the floor. You will want to have at least 1 group for each paper weight.
- Step 2 - Each student group should designate a materials gatherer, a data logger, 1 spot marker, 1 or 2 measurers, and a plane flyer. Smaller groups could be used and tasks combined if space allows.
- Step 3 – The materials gatherer student should pick up a sheet of assigned colored dots (red team – red dots, etc.), a data collection sheet, a pencil, and a plane to test for their group.
- Step 4 – The teacher will instruct the plane flyers of proper technique based on space requirements. The launcher for each group should launch from a seated position in the group desk. A suggestion would be to have the launcher bend his or her arm at the elbow in front of the body (at 90 degrees), releasing the plane by straightening his or her arm completely (180 degrees). The goal is to have the plane launched the same way for each group and each trial. Planes should not be launched from behind or over their heads.
- Step 5 – The student designated as the spot marker will use the assigned colored dots to mark the landing of the airplane after a proper launch. The determination of the distance will need to be standardized, using launch to tail or nose. Be sure all groups are measuring the same way for each trial. Each group will launch the assigned plane 10 times, marking the landing spot with a colored dot each time.
- Step 6 – The measurer(s) will then use the wheel or tape to measure the distance of each trial. Distances will be reported to the data logger to be recorded.
- Step 7 – The data logger should relays results to the teacher so that he/she can combine the data and make it available to the student groups for the analysis portion of the lesson. The data can be recorded on the board or using technology (Excel or GeoGebra). The teacher can go ahead and make the box plots (using technology) or have the students make them in class to be displayed on the board.
Analysis Day - Instructions
- The teacher will use the PowerPoint and class discussion to review key terms and assess students' understanding of them. Students will offer input as to examples and teacher will clarify misconceptions or common errors.
- The teacher will display the data from the airplane activity (or pre-made graphical representations, depending on time) for class discussion and analysis. In their groups, students will analyze the data, create box plots, or look at the pre-made graphs to see how the data for the different planes compares. Students will identify the range, median, mean, and upper and lower quartiles. To examine the spread of the data, students will also find the inter-quartile range. The teacher will lead a discussion of the possible inferences based on the data analysis.
- The teacher will then discuss the concept of Standard Deviation as a measurement of the spread of the data around the mean. Since the students are not required to calculate standard deviation at this level, the teacher can lead a general discussion using the value found with technology (GeoGebra). The normal curve will then be introduced along with a discussion of the percentages of the data that fall in each portion to the left and right of the mean. The students will follow along with the data collection sheet and make notes as needed. The students will then have enough information to make some comparisons of how the spread is displayed differently around the median, in a box plot using IQR and quartiles, or around the mean, using standard deviation.
Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?
As a class, the students will calculate the mean and find the median for the first data set of sample data. The teacher will guide this process and discussion. When the students return to their groups, they will calculate the mean, median, range, quartiles, IQR, etc. for their plane data. The teacher will monitor the student groups as they work, circulating the room and assisting as needed.
Independent Practice: What activities or exercises will students complete to reinforce the concepts and skills developed in the lesson?
A group essay will be completed by the students as they work in their groups, after the teacher has displayed all of the data comparing paper weight to flying distance.
The Exit slip will be completed by each student individually as they leave the classroom.
Closure: How will the teacher assist students in organizing the knowledge gained in the lesson?
The teacher can select a group with an especially good essay and have one of them read part or all of it to the class. The teacher can also select portions of essays or explanation on the Exit Ticket to share with the class the next class period to review and reiterate the topic.
The writing assignment and the exit slip can function as a summative assessment.
During the activity: Students will launch paper airplanes of different paper weights and record the results for further data analysis. The teacher will supervise, clarify material, and monitor the groups during the activity.
After the activity, the teacher will use the attached PowerPoint to discuss the key terms and their appropriate use. The students will take notes and discuss possible examples. During each phase, the teacher will ask questions to assess understanding and then dispel misconceptions.
Feedback to Students
Students will work together in groups of 6. They will gather the data from 10 trials. They will compare and contrast mean and median, and spread in their groups. The teacher will monitor gathering of data and provide assistance with the lesson concepts.
Accommodations & Recommendations
Written instructions, calculators for students who need them, reiterate instructions, physical accommodations based on need, preferential grouping as needed.
Students can create a fictional marketing plan based on their results to sell the paper airplane models, or students could create a project on a question that they have, then gather data and interpret their findings.
Suggested Technology: Computer for Presenter, Basic Calculators, LCD Projector, Microsoft Office, GeoGebra Free Software
Special Materials Needed:
- 4 ~ 8.5 x 11 sheets of paper of varying weights (found at any office supply store - Paper weights 20lb, 22lb, 24lb, and 28lb)
- Data Collection sheets for each group
- Floor marking materials (see instructions)
- Colored adhesive dots
- Measuring wheel in your preferred measurement unit
MP#2 Reason abstractly and qualitatively
MP#3 Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
MP#4 Model with mathematics
Source and Access Information
Name of Author/Source: LaSandria Joseph
District/Organization of Contributor(s): Volusia
Access Privileges: Public
* Please note that examples of resources are not intended as complete curriculum.