Concept Comparison: Graphs in Science (Categorical vs Numerical)

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How do scientists use graphs? This concept comparison helps students contrast bar graphs, pie charts and line graphs created from categorical and numerical data.

These Concept Enhancement Routines have the following learning objectives and outcomes:
• SWBAT identify what kind of data line graphs can display
• SWBAT explain why line graph are powerful tools in science

These Concept Enhancement Routines are classroom tested to help students with the following Florida Next Generation Sunshine State Standards in Science :
SC.7.N.1.1 Define a problem from the seventh grade curriculum, use appropriate reference materials to support scientific understanding, plan and carry out scientific investigation of various types, such as systematic observations or experiments, identify variables, collect and organize data, interpret data in charts, tables, and graphics, analyze information, make predictions, and defend conclusions.
• SC.8.N.1.1 Define a problem from the eighth grade curriculum using appropriate reference materials to support scientific understanding, plan and carry out scientific investigations of various types, such as systematic observations or experiments, identify variables, collect and organize data, interpret data in charts, tables, and graphics, analyze information, make predictions, and defend conclusions.
• SC.912.N.1.1: Define a problem based on a specific body of knowledge, for example: biology, chemistry, physics, and earth/space science, and do the following:
1. Pose questions about the natural world, (Articulate the purpose of the investigation and identify the relevant scientific concepts).
2. Conduct systematic observations, (Write procedures that are clear and replicable. Identify observables and examine relationships between test (independent) variable and outcome (dependent) variable. Employ appropriate methods for accurate and consistent observations; conduct and record measurements at appropriate levels of precision. Follow safety guidelines).
3. Examine books and other sources of information to see what is already known,
4. Review what is known in light of empirical evidence, (Examine whether available empirical evidence can be interpreted in terms of existing knowledge and models, and if not, modify or develop new models).
5. Plan investigations, (Design and evaluate a scientific investigation).
6. Use tools to gather, analyze, and interpret data (this includes the use of measurement in metric and other systems, and also the generation and interpretation of graphical representations of data, including data tables and graphs), (Collect data or evidence in an organized way. Properly use instruments, equipment, and materials (e.g., scales, probeware, meter sticks, microscopes, computers) including set-up, calibration, technique, maintenance, and storage).
7. Pose answers, explanations, or descriptions of events,
8. Generate explanations that explicate or describe natural phenomena (inferences),
9. Use appropriate evidence and reasoning to justify these explanations to others,
10. Communicate results of scientific investigations, and
11. Evaluate the merits of the explanations produced by others.

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Total Pages
9 pages
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Teaching Duration
45 minutes
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