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Representing the National Parks and Forest

Grades 4 through 6
Math and Technology

Lesson Plan

Overview

In many businesses and government organizations, people often give presentations to others to show information or data about projects or what is occurring at that particular organization or business.  These presentations may be used to sell a product or idea, update information about that organization, or to give information to the public.  Often these presentations include graphs of some type to show and compare information or data.  Graphs are used because they are a way of visually displaying data so that people can see the relationships between the data more easily.  Students research and design different types of graphs to compare information from the different sites of national significance depicted on the 2010 America the Beautiful Quarters® Program coins.

Objectives

The student, given a problem situation, will collect, organize, display, and interpret data from a variety of graphs.  Students will collect data using research, observations, surveys, and experiments; represent data using tables and graphs such as line plots, bar graphs, circle graphs, and line graphs; and recognize the different types of data.

Time

Two to Three 45- to 60-minute sessions

Materials List

  • "Park and Forest Data Collection" Worksheet
  • Spreadsheet software
  • "Representing the National Parks and Forest Rubric"

Keywords

  • Obverse
  • Reverse
  • Data
  • National Park
  • National Forest
  • Acreage
  • Budget
  • Graph
  • Bar Graph
  • Line Graph
  • Circle Graph
  • Line Plot

Summary

  • Our country has many beautiful national parks and forests.  Have the students brainstorm some examples of sites they have visited or heard about.
  • Introduce the students to the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program by visiting the website http://www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/atb.  Tell the students that the back of a coin is called the reverse, and "obverse" is another name for the front. 
  • With the students, examine each of the five 2010 quarter designs.  Discuss who is on the obverse of the quarters.  Discuss the sites depicted on the reverse of the quarters.  Locate each of the sites on a class map.  Answer any student questions.
  • Visit the website for one of the national sites.  Have the students list some categories of information they see on the site.  Introduce the idea that information is known as data.
  • Discuss some of the ways that data can be represented.  Review the different types of graphs that can be used to display data.  Review the types of graphs and which types of data are more appropriate for each one.
  • Explain to the students that they will be researching and recording data related to the sites of national significance from the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program and present this data in the form of an appropriate graph.
  • Display and review the "Park and Forest Data Collection" worksheet with the students.  Have the students choose the four categories they want to research and list them in the appropriate box on the worksheet.  Using Internet resources, allow the students time to research and record the data from the various sites.
  • Display and review the "Representing the National Parks and Forest Rubric."  Review the use of spreadsheet software and creating graphs using this software.  Allow students time to create their graphs using the software.
  • Review the options for presenting the graphs by displaying the project plan sheet.  Allow students time to create and share their presentations.

Assessment

Use the "Representing the National Parks and Forest Rubric" to evaluate whether the students have met the lesson objectives.

Differentiated Learning

  • Have the students do an original multimedia presentation highlighting the key points for each area.
  • Work as a class to practice the process of collecting data and selecting an appropriate graph.
  • Have students work in pairs to complete their research and/or graphs.

Connection to www.usmint.gov/kids

Standards

Math

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (www.nctm.org)

  • Data Analysis and Probability:  Formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize, and display relevant data to answer them.

Technology

International Society for Technology in Education (www.iste.org)

  • Research and Information Fluency:  Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.

United States Department of Education National Technology Plan

Helpful Hints

  • Since different graphs are used to represent different types of information, students will need to be familiar with different types of graphs, including their purposes and formats, to complete this activity.
  • Students will need to be familiar with using spreadsheet software to create graphs.
  • Review x and y axis on graphs.

Student Version

Objectives

In many businesses and government organizations, people often give presentations to others to show information or data about projects or what is occurring at that particular organization or business.  These presentations may be used to sell a product or idea, update information about that organization, or to give information to the public.  Often these presentations include graphs of some type to show and compare information or data.  Graphs are used because they are a way of visually representing the data so that people can see the relationships between the data more easily.

You will collect, organize, display, and interpret data using a variety of graphs.  You will complete the following:

  • Collect data using research
  • Represent data using tables and graphs such as line plots, bar graphs, circle graphs, and line graphs
  • Recognize the differences in representing different types of data

Step-By-Step Directions

  1. Beginning in 2010, the United States Mint will issue 56 quarter-dollar coins featuring designs depicting national parks and other national sites as part of the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program.  Check out more information on the coins by visiting the America the Beautiful Quarters Program website.  The back of a coin is called the reverse and "obverse" is another name for the front.
  2. Examine each of the five 2010 quarter designs.  Locate the sites on a map.  What five coins are being released this year?  Who will be depicted on the front of the quarter?  What will be depicted on the backs?
  3. Check out the America the Beautiful Quarters Program National Site Register to find out which national site in your state or territory was selected.
  4. Check out the designs for the quarters that you will be using for this project.  Why were these particular designs chosen?
  5. Choose four of the six categories below.
    • Acreage (land mass, acres)
    • Visitation (visitors)
    • Park/forest employees (number of employees)
    • Budget
    • Fees
    • Hiking trails (miles)
  6. Research the information on the websites for the national parks and forest.  Download and complete the "Park and Forest Data Collection" worksheet.
  7. Decide on how you want to present the information (bar graph, line graph, circle graph, data plot, frequency distribution, histogram.)  You may want to use different kinds of graphs for the different information.  Review the best uses for each kind of graph.  Download the "Representing the National Parks and Forest Rubric."  Read the rubric to see what information the teacher will be looking for in your graphs.
  8. Choose which graph you will create to represent each of the sets of data you collected on your data collection worksheet.
  9. Create your graphs using a ruler or spreadsheet software.  Make sure you add labels and titles as necessary.
  10. Present your graphs to the class using one of the following options and explain the important points on each of your graphs.
    • Create a book of graphs that can be displayed in the classroom.
    • Create a multimedia presentation.
    • Create a bulletin board for your graphs.

Related Links

Worksheets


The Department of the Treasury Seal