To do this math lab, your students will already need to know how to find mean, median, mode and range and should have already been taught how to do stem and leaf plots. This makes a fine review activity before an assessment on these topics.
I have no photo available, but when I did this, I made a large tree trunk out of brown bulletin board backing paper. Then, I made large leaves out of paper in shades of green. If you were doing this in the fall, you could use other colors. If you teach middle school and you have multiple classes, you can make your leaves smaller, since you will have more of them (which will probably look better). If your grade-mates will cooperate, you can also have them contribute to the display.
Math Lab – “A Dicey Stem and Leaf Plot”
Colored pencils or markers
Dice (one per person)
You have already learned how to construct a stem and leaf plot, and how to calculate mean, median, mode and range. There are examples you can refer to in your math notebook if needed.
You can think of a stem and leaf plot like a plant….the digits in the tens place (or higher) are stems and the ones digits next to it are leaves. Both the stems and the leaves are on a plant that represents your whole graph. Today, we will construct some stem and leaf plots using data collected by rolling dice. You will neatly create a stem and leaf plot keeping the plant theme in mind. See the back of this sheet for an example of what our work will look like when we are finished with this activity.
Directions: This is MOSTLY an individual activity. We will all be creating a final product, by ourselves, to contribute to a class display. I expect that this project will take two math periods to complete.
1. Each person will roll dice to create twenty 2-digit numbers. Roll the dice once to make the tens place, and again to make the ones place.
2. Write your data on an index card (you will need this later)
3. Make your numbers into a stem and leaf plot (rough copy) paper. Be sure to find the mean, median, mode and range of your data.
4. Trade index cards with a partner. Create a stem and leaf plot of THEIR data on your paper (with the one you made from your data).
5. Now, make a “pretty” stem and leaf plot (final copy). Use the data YOU collected and re-do your stem and leaf plot, but this time, do it very neatly. Write your STEMS in BROWN and your LEAVES in GREEN. Write very neatly and write large enough that people will be able to see it easily. Clearly label your mean, median, mode and range in the corner. Make sure your name is clearly visible on your work. Your work will be made into a classroom or hallway display (a large plant/tree with your stem and leaf plots acting as the leaves).