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It’s Just Water: El Yunque National Forest

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Summary

The students will collect, analyze, display, and interpret rainfall data, using a box-and-whiskers plot.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • America The Beautiful Quarters

Objectives

The students will collect, analyze, display, and interpret rainfall data, using a box-and-whiskers plot.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Math
  • Science

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies

Grades

  • Seventh grade
  • Eighth grade

Class Time

Sessions: Two
Session Length: 45-60 minutes
Total Length: 91-120 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Individual work

Terms and Concepts

  • Box-and-whiskers plot
  • Weather
  • Data
  • Analyze

Materials

  • Related worksheets
  • Internet
  • Graphing tools
  • Writing tools

Preparations

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/108.pdf.

  1. Display and examine the “El Yunque National Forest Quarter” overhead transparency. Locate this site on a class map. Note its position in relation to your school’s location. As background information, explain to the students that the United States Mint began to issue the quarters in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program in 2010. By the time the program ends in 2021, there will be a total of 56 designs on the back of the coin. Each design will focus on a different national site—one from each state, territory, and the District of Columbia.
  2. Explain to the students that the El Yunque National Forest receives a lot of rain. Examine the average yearly rainfall data for the five national sites from the five quarters released in 2011. The following data was obtained from the national sites’ web sites:
    • Gettysburg National Military Park: 40 in.
    • Glacier National Park, MT: 11 in.
    • Olympic National Park, WA: 140 in.
    • Vicksburg National Military Park, MS: 52 in.
    • Chickasaw National Recreation Area, OK: 38 in.
  3. With the students, calculate the mean, median, mode, and range for the rainfall data. As a class, create a box-and-whiskers plot for the data.
  4. Invite the students to visit the web sites for the five America the Beautiful Quarters® to be released in 2012. Have them record the amount of average yearly rainfall each place receives on the “Rainfall Data” worksheet. Have the students find the mean, median, mode, and range for the 2012 set of rainfall data. Have the students create a box-and-whiskers plot to show the information.
  5. Visit the El Yunque National Forest web site and have the students research why it receives so much rain. The students will summarize in one or two paragraphs the data, research, and identify the outliers and how they affect the data.
There are no modification options for this lesson plan.

Use a rubric that includes the categories of “math accuracy,” “content accuracy,” “graph accuracy,” “labeling of graph,” and “written data analysis” to assess whether the student has met the lesson objectives.

Discipline: Math
Domain: 6.SP Statistics and Probability
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Summarize and describe distributions
Standards:

  • 6.SP.4. Display numerical data in plots on a number line, including dot plots, histograms, and box plots.
  • 6.SP.5. Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context, such as by:
    • Reporting the number of observations.
    • Describing the nature of the attribute under investigation, including how it was measured and its units of measurement.
    • Giving quantitative measures of center (median and/or mean) and variability (interquartile range and/or mean absolute deviation), as well as describing any overall pattern and any striking deviations from the overall pattern with reference to the context in which the data were gathered.
    • Relating the choice of measures of center and variability to the shape of the data distribution and the context in which the data were gathered.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.8 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Text Types and Purposes
Standards:

  • W.8.1. Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
    • Introduce claim(s), acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.
    • Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
    • Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
    • Establish and maintain a formal style.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.
  • W.8.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
    • Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
    • Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
    • Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
    • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
    • Establish and maintain a formal style.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.
  • W.8.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
    • Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.
    • Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, and reflection, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
    • Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence, signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another, and show the relationships among experiences and events.
    • Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.
    • Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences or events.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.7 Language
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.7.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Explain the function of phrases and clauses in general and their function in specific sentences.
    • Choose among simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences to signal differing relationships among ideas.
    • Place phrases and clauses within a sentence, recognizing and correcting misplaced and dangling modifiers.
  • L.7.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Use a comma to separate coordinate adjectives (e.g., It was a fascinating, enjoyable movie but not He wore an old[,] green shirt).
    • Spell correctly.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.8 Language
Grade(s): Grade 6
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.8.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Explain the function of verbals (gerunds, participles, infinitives) in general and their function in particular sentences.
    • Form and use verbs in the active and passive voice.
    • Form and use verbs in the indicative, imperative, interrogative, conditional, and subjunctive mood.
    • Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb voice and mood.
  • L.8.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Use punctuation (comma, ellipsis, dash) to indicate a pause or break.
    • Use an ellipsis to indicate an omission.
    • Spell correctly.

Discipline: Science
Domain: 5-8 Content Standards
Cluster: Unifying Concepts and Processes
Grade(s): Grades 5–8
Standards:

  • Systems, order, and organization
  • Evidence, models, and explanation
  • Change, constancy, and measurement
  • Evolution and equilibrium

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: 6-8 Data Analysis and Probability
Cluster: Develop and evaluate inferences and predictions that are based on data.
Grade(s): Grades 5–8
Standards:

In grades 6–8 all students should

  • use observations about differences between two or more samples to make conjectures about the populations from which the samples were taken;
  • make conjectures about possible relationships between two characteristics of a sample on the basis of scatterplots of the data and approximate lines of fit; and
  • use conjectures to formulate new questions and plan new studies to answer them.

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: 6-8 Data Analysis and Probability
Cluster: Formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize, and display relevant data to answer them.
Grade(s): Grades 5–8
Standards:

In grades 6–8 all students should

  • formulate questions, design studies, and collect data about a characteristic shared by two populations or different characteristics within one population; and
  • select, create, and use appropriate graphical representations of data, including histograms, box plots, and scatterplots.

Discipline: Mathematics
Domain: 6-8 Data Analysis and Probability
Cluster: Select and use appropriate statistical methods to analyze data.
Grade(s): Grades 5–8
Standards:

In grades 6–8 all students should

  • find, use, and interpret measures of center and spread, including mean and interquartile range; and
  • discuss and understand the correspondence between data sets and their graphical representations, especially histograms, stem-and-leaf plots, box plots, and scatterplots.

Discipline: Science
Domain: 5-8 Content Standards
Cluster: Science as Inquiry
Grade(s): Grades 5–8
Standards:

  • Ability necessary to do scientific inquiry
  • Understand scientific inquiry