Jul 12, 2013

Technologies to Support Online Learning: Lesson Plan

This lesson is designed to get students to start interpreting data, particularly looking at graphs.

CA Standard Stats & Probability 14.0 Students organize and describe distributions of data by using a number of different methods, including frequency tables, histograms, standard line graphs and bar graphs, stem-and-leaf displays, scatter plots, and box-and-whisker plots.

1. Quickfire

Individual Activity: Name each of the 6 designated color-coded regions to the best of your ability. Extra Challenge: Name the biggest country in each region, by population and by land mass.

Continent Quiz

1. Explore

On gapminder.org, create a graph that compares GDP per capita vs. Time. Examine many countries in detail (at least ten). Make sure to look at countries from different regions. Pick 2-3 countries that are interesting to you. What happens to their GDP over time? What are some surprising events in the data? What do you think could be some possible causes for those events?

2. Learn

Watch Hans Rosling on HIV: New facts and stunning data visuals. Hans Rosling, the creator of Gapminder.org, has done many interesting TED Talks, one particularly interesting one on washing machines, if you want some further watching.


As you watch, answer the following questions.

  1. What are the axes on Han's first graph?

  2. Why does the US have a big bubble in 1983 even though only a small percentage of the population was infected with HIV?

  3. What was the most infected country in the world in 1983 by percentage? By total people?

  4. What does the replay of Botswana reveal? Why do the rates in poorer countries fall faster than Botswana?

  5. Does war increase HIV infection rates?

  6. Does poverty increase HIV infection rates?

  7. Does wealth increase HIV infection rates?

  8. What is Hans main argument about HIV policy.

3. Create

Pick one of the 2-3 interesting countries from your Explore. You listed some possible causes for surprising events in the data. Research that countries history and try to find what might be the cause of that surprising data.

Share your findings in one of two ways:

  1. Summarize your findings in an essay of 300-500 words. Include the graph from Gapminder. Cite your sources.

  2. Create a timeline on TimeToast that outlines your findings. Included your graph from Gapminder. Present your findings to the class in a 1-2 minute presentation.