My goal for day 2 is to get the students talking. Talking and disagreeing with each other respectfully. The graph has a low entry point. EVERY student has an opinion about this graph and you will see all hands in the air. Even the quiet students want to tell you that oranges should be moved up and bananas to the left. Then we talk about the math terms which we can use to help us describe what we’re saying more accurately. Move the orange from quadrant 3 into quadrant 2. We talk about what fruits the author left off the graph, and where we would put it.
As a follow-up to this intro, I put students into groups, and tell them to pick their own topic for a graph. I pass out graph paper and markers. I tell students they have 10 minutes to create a graph that is wall worthy. They need to determine axis categories and place at least 5 items on their graph. A few student examples:
- “Sneaker Brands” – Price vs. Swag Factor
- “Restaurants” – Price vs. Taste
- “Athletes” – Salary vs. Skill Level
I love the debates the students have over category placement on the axises. Many students will place “expensive” at the top of the y-axis, and then we talk about how it would actually be a more positive experience to go to a cheap, tasty restaurant. If we have time, groups stand up in front of the room and share their graphs.
I use this activity on day 2 because it gets all students participating and talking to each other. They get into groups and everyone has an opinion about what to do or draw. They stand in front of their peers and explain their work. No one stands up and says they don’t know why they put Michael Jordan in quadrant 1. So before a student even has time to be scared about talking in math class, they’re already doing it.