Scatter Plots and Lines of Best Fit
Product Description: Students are always more engaged and excited in math class when the data they are analyzing has real world significance. That is why this 7-page activity opens up with a table that shows the approximate population of some states along with the number of members each state has in the House of Representatives. The information is based on the 2010 census.
Students will have to make a scatter plot of this real world data and then decide if the scatter plot shows positive, negative, or no correlation. Students will then draw a best-fit line through the data. Using their graph a students will estimate how many house members various states have based on the 2010 population. Students will be encouraged to search the Internet to see how accurate their answers are.
Students will also graph data relating the population of various states to the number of United States senators. Student will quickly realize that the number of senators is always 2 no matter the population size, and therefore the slope or rate for this scenario is 0.
The lesson closes with a table showing the relationship between time and money. Students will see a negative correlation here, and again have the opportunity to draw a best-fit line and generate an equation with the graphing calculator.
Note: A graphing calculator is helpful for part 3 of this lesson but is not required.
Note: The zipped file contains the 7 page student packet, the 7 page key, and 1-page on copyright information. They are all PDF files.