Graphing Great Whites

Today’s Contributor: Kylie Schantz is a 5th grade math and science teacher at Baldwin Elementary.

As we came up to our unit on Graphing this year, I was looking for a project based activity that would allow me to cover scatterplots, stem and leaf plots, bar graphs, dot plots, and frequency tables. I finally found an activity that I could adapt that would do all of that and that I could differentiate easily for each student.

With a combination of the math TEKS and the science TEKS, I built a unit on graphing real life data of great white sharks and how they interact with biotic and abiotic elements in their environments.

I started the week with openers to my unit that would get them excited about “shark week”. We used the ocearch website, which currently tracks 115 great white sharks, to collect our data in frequency tables.

We watched how “Lydia” (which was one of ocearch’s sharks) was tagged by ocearch, and learned how they tracked their sharks using satellites.

I then created a life size cut out of “Lydia” to hang in the classroom, so the students had a visual to make connections with.

Then we set off making a graphing book using our data to make all of the different graphs that we needed to learn about.

The students were able to use the site to track where their particular sharks have been, their length, their weight, and also were able to watch videos on their particular sharks, so they felt a connection to their sharks!

The “buy in” was fantastic! In the end, the students were able to master each part of representing data, they were connected to our process, and it was data that was representing the real world.

1 Comment

  1. This is such a great example of how technology can enhance student engagement and increase learning productivity! You planned a great activity that covered so many math and science TEKS with integrated lessons. Thanks so much for sharing!

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