Analyze and Interpret Data Unit

Grade Levels
5th, 6th, 7th, 8th
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43.52 MB   |   118 pages


Note: This product was updated with new handouts and PowerPoint presentations (including editable versions) on March 28, 2016.

STEM / NGSS Aligned

Students are usually given the most experience with the first steps of the Scientific Method, but lack practice in the end stages. We often run out of steam or time performing experiments, and don't give students enough experience with the higher-level thinking skills involved in making meaning from experiment results … and that’s the most fascinating part!!

The point of this unit is to shift the imbalance to the latter part of the scientific method, giving much-needed, focused practice on analyzing and interpreting data.

When I made this unit, my goals were to:

Create individual lessons and guided practice for each sub-skill needed to think critically about experiment data.

Create pre-made, age-appropriate mock experiment data sets for practice and assessment. Each experiment’s premise, procedure, and results are succinctly laid out.

Create scenarios containing only four or five data points (enough to set up line graphs and identify variable relationships, but not spend all day plotting points!). (Note: students are reminded in the lessons that more data points are required to validate results, but the aim of these lessons is to analyze.)


This product download includes:

• Four guided lessons, each with:
- PowerPoint presentation (Editable .pptx and PDF version included to preserve formatting)
- 2+ student handouts with notes and practice

• 10 application/assessment worksheets

See below for more detail:

Lesson 1:

The Scientific Method and Variables
PowerPoint presentation (25 content slides)
- Review the steps of the scientific method
- Introduce new terminology (trials and theory)
- Define and practice identifying independent variable, dependent variable, and control variables

Lesson 2:

Making a Line Graph for Science Experiment Data
PowerPoint presentation (32 content slides)
- Independent variable on the x-axis
- Dependent variable goes on the y-axis
- Choosing a reasonable scale
- Creating a title for the line graph
- Creating axis titles and labels

Lesson 3:

Identifying Relationships Between Variables
PowerPoint presentation (18 content slides)
- Discern whether the independent and dependent variables have a direct relationship, inverse relationship, or no relationship

Lesson 4:

Analyzing Results, Drawing Conclusions and Next Steps
PowerPoint presentation (25 content slides)
- Use data to determine if hypothesis is correct, partially correct, or incorrect
- Construct/brainstorm possible explanations for data results
- Create a conclusion statement explaining results
- Identify "next steps" (experiment repeat, re-design, expansion, etc.)


10 practice application worksheets with answer keys for class, homework, and/or tests

Note, these are NOT actual experiments. The data tables are made up. The free product (link below) in my store is version A of this activity, so you can see exactly the format you will be getting.

I made two versions of five experiment scenarios:
Does time off task affect grades?
Do readers make better writers?
Does skateboard length impact speed?
Does the number of Mentos affect Diet Coke explosions?
Are foods with fewer ingredients healthier?

In the two versions of each scenario, the basic premise of the scenario stays the same, but I changed:
- the data table format so that students would not be able to identify the independent and dependent variables solely by location in the table.
- the results
- Whether or not the hypothesis is correct, partially correct, or incorrect.
- Variable relationships (direct relationship, indirect relationship, or no relationship)

Because there are two of each scenario, you could have students compare different trials of the same experiment to graph as a double line graph, analyze data, determine next steps, etc. Or you can use them as stand-alone practice. When the students recognize the scenarios, it is another opportunity to remind them that good science requires multiple trials of the same experiment.


I created this for my 7th grade classroom, but I think it would work for an advanced 5th grade or as review for high school. This unit is an ideal way to kick off the school year to provide students with practice with the NGSS Practices that are integrated in performance expectations for the Disciplinary Core Ideas. The NGSS practices are listed below with (*) marking those on which this unit provides instruction and practice.

NGSS Practices:
- Asking Questions and Defining Problems (*)
- Developing and Using Models
- Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
- Analyzing and Interpreting Data (*)
- Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking (*)
- Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions (*)
- Engaging in Argument from Evidence (*)
- Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information (*)

Please message me if you have any questions.


Do you only need some of the pieces from this unit? Click on the links to buy some individual pieces:

Part 1_Scientific Method and Independent, Dependent, and Control Variables

Free analysis worksheet

Part 2_How to Make a Line Graph

Part 3_Variables: Direct Relationship or Inverse Relationship

Part 4_Analyze Results, Draw Conclusions, and Next Steps

Part 5_Application Practice: Analyze Results, Draw Conclusions, and Next Steps


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Numbers And Finance via photopin (license)
Total Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 Weeks

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Analyze and Interpret Data Unit
Analyze and Interpret Data Unit
Analyze and Interpret Data Unit
Analyze and Interpret Data Unit