Line Plot Toolkit: Hands On Line Plot Activities, Investigations, & Assessments

Grade Levels
3rd - 5th
Formats Included
  • PDF
45 pages
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Line plots are a key part of many different sets of math standards for intermediate grades—but many textbooks give very limited amounts of math practice with them. This resource is designed to get students interpreting line plots, making line plots, collecting data, and more! Line plots actually address so many elements--and these activities even make them fun!

My students have a blast with the different activities and really were able to show their math thinking on the practice pages. We had tons of great math talk, and the opportunities for students to really “study” the graphs really helped them construct meaning—not merely fill in the blanks.

This resource is divided into FOUR main sections:

1. “Interpreting Line Plots

This section has 5 different reproducible line plots with questions to help the students think deeply about the data. Each one also has a place for students to generate their OWN questions about the graph—great for class discussions or partner and small group work.

2. “Hands On Line Plots”

This section has 5 hands on “explorations” where students generate data and create class line plots that they then work to study and analyze. Suggestions for use are included as are both customary and metric versions where appropriate.

3. “Making Line Plots”

In this section, students are given 5 different sets of data to use to “plot”—many of which use fractions. Gridded and “open” line plot pages are included so students can either use a preplanned scale or you can work as a class or in small groups to create your own scales that match the data. Question pages are also included to do additional data analysis once the line plots are created.

4. “Assessing Line Plots”

Although any of the other pages could certainly be used as assessments (and these can be used as practice pages), it’s sometimes nice to have a place for students to work independently to “show what they know”. I have included 5 different assessments that ask questions and present data in different ways.

I hope you find it a fun, rigorous, and meaningful way to get your students truly thinking about data and line plots! Selected answers included where applicable. Page count is approximate. The actual document has far more but some are different versions of certain pages.


Want to check out a different graphing resource?

GREAT GRAPHS: Constructivist Graph Unit

How about some other measurement resources?

Teaching Tandem: Area and Perimeter

Measurement Task Cards


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Total Pages
45 pages
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Attend to precision. Mathematically proficient students try to communicate precisely to others. They try to use clear definitions in discussion with others and in their own reasoning. They state the meaning of the symbols they choose, including using the equal sign consistently and appropriately. They are careful about specifying units of measure, and labeling axes to clarify the correspondence with quantities in a problem. They calculate accurately and efficiently, express numerical answers with a degree of precision appropriate for the problem context. In the elementary grades, students give carefully formulated explanations to each other. By the time they reach high school they have learned to examine claims and make explicit use of definitions.
Model with mathematics. Mathematically proficient students can apply the mathematics they know to solve problems arising in everyday life, society, and the workplace. In early grades, this might be as simple as writing an addition equation to describe a situation. In middle grades, a student might apply proportional reasoning to plan a school event or analyze a problem in the community. By high school, a student might use geometry to solve a design problem or use a function to describe how one quantity of interest depends on another. Mathematically proficient students who can apply what they know are comfortable making assumptions and approximations to simplify a complicated situation, realizing that these may need revision later. They are able to identify important quantities in a practical situation and map their relationships using such tools as diagrams, two-way tables, graphs, flowcharts and formulas. They can analyze those relationships mathematically to draw conclusions. They routinely interpret their mathematical results in the context of the situation and reflect on whether the results make sense, possibly improving the model if it has not served its purpose.
Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. Mathematically proficient students understand and use stated assumptions, definitions, and previously established results in constructing arguments. They make conjectures and build a logical progression of statements to explore the truth of their conjectures. They are able to analyze situations by breaking them into cases, and can recognize and use counterexamples. They justify their conclusions, communicate them to others, and respond to the arguments of others. They reason inductively about data, making plausible arguments that take into account the context from which the data arose. Mathematically proficient students are also able to compare the effectiveness of two plausible arguments, distinguish correct logic or reasoning from that which is flawed, and-if there is a flaw in an argument-explain what it is. Elementary students can construct arguments using concrete referents such as objects, drawings, diagrams, and actions. Such arguments can make sense and be correct, even though they are not generalized or made formal until later grades. Later, students learn to determine domains to which an argument applies. Students at all grades can listen or read the arguments of others, decide whether they make sense, and ask useful questions to clarify or improve the arguments.
Reason abstractly and quantitatively. Mathematically proficient students make sense of quantities and their relationships in problem situations. They bring two complementary abilities to bear on problems involving quantitative relationships: the ability to decontextualize-to abstract a given situation and represent it symbolically and manipulate the representing symbols as if they have a life of their own, without necessarily attending to their referents-and the ability to contextualize, to pause as needed during the manipulation process in order to probe into the referents for the symbols involved. Quantitative reasoning entails habits of creating a coherent representation of the problem at hand; considering the units involved; attending to the meaning of quantities, not just how to compute them; and knowing and flexibly using different properties of operations and objects.
Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. Mathematically proficient students start by explaining to themselves the meaning of a problem and looking for entry points to its solution. They analyze givens, constraints, relationships, and goals. They make conjectures about the form and meaning of the solution and plan a solution pathway rather than simply jumping into a solution attempt. They consider analogous problems, and try special cases and simpler forms of the original problem in order to gain insight into its solution. They monitor and evaluate their progress and change course if necessary. Older students might, depending on the context of the problem, transform algebraic expressions or change the viewing window on their graphing calculator to get the information they need. Mathematically proficient students can explain correspondences between equations, verbal descriptions, tables, and graphs or draw diagrams of important features and relationships, graph data, and search for regularity or trends. Younger students might rely on using concrete objects or pictures to help conceptualize and solve a problem. Mathematically proficient students check their answers to problems using a different method, and they continually ask themselves, "Does this make sense?" They can understand the approaches of others to solving complex problems and identify correspondences between different approaches.


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