This is a set of 6 different worksheets where students use data from a graph to develop and answer a research question by reading the graph to identify possible manipulated and responding variables. Then they are asked to interpret the data to write a claim that answers the question they developed and that can be supported using data from the graph or chart. Supports NGSS middle school science Science and Engineering Practices (SEP) and 8th Grade Math Statistics and Probability standards.
Two versions of each graph worksheet are included, one asking for manipulated/responding variables and another using the terms independent/dependent variables so you can use the version that best matches your preferred terminology
I usually assign each worksheet as an independent assignment, often as homework and then we discuss the claims as a class after they are completed. One collaborative technique I use is to have the students work as table teams (4-5 students) to share out their claims and evidence and to decide as a table which one is the best and put that on to a white board that they turn into me. Once I get all the submissions from the table groups, I read out the claims and evidence to the class and they vote if the answer is strong or weak and we sort the whiteboards into those categories. This helps my students practice how to evaluate the quality of the claims and evidence used.
Each data set in this series has a written short introduction that should help with the interpretation of the data for students. These are intended to go along with the NGSS standards and when I use them with my students they will have some background knowledge about the topics.
- Cover and TOU (2 pages)
- Teacher Notes with NGSS DCI alignment (2 pages)
- 6 Sets of Data Graph and/or Data Tables prompts (two variations, using Independent/Dependent Variable, or Manipulated/Responding Variables AND choice or LINED or UNLINED writing boxes). with Answer Keys (24 pages total)
- Roller Coasters and Energy: Supports NGSS MS-PS-3-2 A graph of maximum hill height and top roller coaster speed
- Roller Coasters and Construction Materials: Supports NGSS MS-PS-3-2 and NGSS MS-PS-3-5. A graph of different materials used to build roller coasters and the year they were built along with the top speed. Students can be challenged to find multiple research questions that can be answered using the data presented in this graph.
- Sound and Hearing: Supports NGSS MS-PS- 4 when used along with a discussion about wave amplitude and sound volume. This is based on data collected by students as part of a research project into hearing safety and school settings .
- Properties of Thermal Energy Storage Materials: Supports NGSS MS-PS-3-4. Students are given a graph that displays the relationship between density and specific heat for selected solids and liquids that are being considered for thermal energy storage. This graph can be challenging because if you look at the general trend of density compared to specific heat there is a negative relationship, however if you also consider the state of matter you might notice a clustering of the liquids on the graph.
- Thermal Conductivity and Temperature: Supports NGSS MS-PS-3-4. Students can identify a negative linear trend in the thermal conductivity of the materials as they heat up. Students can be challenged to brainstorm reasons for this trend as an extension to the lesson.
- Very Low Temperature and Thermal Conductivity: Supports NGSS MS-PS-3-4 This data has a non-linear trend with a definite optimal zone. This data set is good for discussion of optimization of conditions and that not all trends are linear/non-linear lines of best fit.