Misleading Graphs
Misleading Graphs Lesson Plan


This lesson will challenge students to think creatively by having them design and build water balloon catchers from random scrap materials, while requiring them to take into consideration a multitude of variables including: cost, maintenance, total capacity, etc. After completing their water balloon catchers, students will collect data based on the performance of all catchers designed by the class. Students will then construct at least two bar graphs to be used in a commercial advocating the purchase of their group's catcher.

Standards (NCTM Grades: 3-5)


Use mathematical models to represent and understand quantitative relationships Data Analysis and Probability

Formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize, and display relevant data to answer them Select and use appropriate statistical methods to analyze data Understand and apply basic concepts of probability Student Prerequisites

Teacher Preparation

Have a pretend store set up where students can "purchase" scrap materials.

Students will need:

Lesson Outline

  1. Focus and Review
  1. Objectives
  2. Students will analyze and compare graphs in order to identify appropriate conclusions and determine if a particular graphical display is misleading.

  3. Teacher Input
  1. Guided Practice
  1. Independent Practice
  1. Closure