Each student will need a Describe the Graph Activity Sheet and a graphing calculator or some other tool(s) to
generate random numbers between 0 and 10 such as cards, number cubes,
Describe the Graph Activity Sheet
Students will each student generate 12 random numbers between 0
and 10 and write them in the order they are generated in the spaces
provided on the activity sheet. One thing to be careful of is having
duplicate domain values. If this happens just have the student generate
an additional number for that spot.
Each student will then plot their unique points and connect
them in order from left to right with line segments on the graph
provided on their activity sheet. This is a second chance to catch any
duplicate domain values as they graph. The level and knowledge of the
students will guide your information here. Higher level students will
need very little guidance while lower level or younger children will
need a review or lesson in how the ordered pairs match up to the graph,
such as the first value corresponds to the horizontal axis, etc.
Now students will need to decide what is represented by each
axis of their graph and label them as such. I usually have an example
to share with the class here for clarification, so this is a good place
to use the Describe the Graph Overhead.
Describe the Graph Overhead
Students are then ready to write a short story that describes
what is being depicted in the graph. The activity sheet provides lines
for students to write their story on. If they cannot fit their entire
story in the space provided, I would encourage students to use their
own sheet of paper do that both the graph and the story can be
displayed at one time. I emphasize that someone reading their story
must be able to recreate their graph based solely on their story. This
doesn’t mean that every point has to be given but that someone could
get to each point from the information given. Refer to the Overhead
where the point (2, 4) is specifically stated but can be gleaned from
the facts given. Allow students to work in groups of 2–3 only to
discuss ideas for their stories. My experience is that students are
very excited to share their stories and ideas so that by allowing them
to work with a partner they can narrow down their selections based on
feedback from their peers. Each student should create unique labels and
therefore a unique story to go along with them.
Most students will not complete their story within a 45-minute
class period so allow students to complete their stories outside class.
Allow time the following day for students to clarify and ask questions
regarding their graphs and story. Students may exchange papers to check
each other’s work. It is also a good idea to allow students to present
their graph and stories to the class. I do not make this mandatory
because many students are very uncomfortable in this kind of setting
but I do make it available for those students who would like to share.
If you decide to let students present their work make sure you allow a
good portion of the period because you will be amazed at the number of
students who decide to present.