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3-Digit Stem-and-Leaf Plots

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  • 0:02 Plants & Math?
  • 0:46 Creating a Stem-and-Leaf Plot
  • 2:10 A More Complicated Plot
  • 3:21 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Emily Hume

Emily is a Reading Specialist and Literacy coach in a public elementary school with a Master's Degree in Elementary Education.

A stem-and-leaf plot sounds like a study on plants, right? It's actually a way to show information in an organized way. In this lesson, you'll learn how to identify and create a three-digit stem-and-leaf plot.

Plants & Math?

Very quickly, look at a plant! What parts do you see? Do you notice the stem first or perhaps the leaves? In this lesson, we'll learn about a type of chart called a stem-and-leaf plot, which happens to have some things in common with our plant.

A stem-and-leaf plot is a chart that's used to organize numbers. On a stem-and-leaf plot, there's a vertical line. To the right of the line is the single last digit of the number. We call this the leaf. On the left side are the rest of the digits. This part is called the stem. When creating a three-digit stem-and-leaf plot, there will be one digit, or number, on the right (the leaf) and two on the left (the stem) for each number.


Simple Stem-and-Leaf Plot


Creating a Stem-and-Leaf Plot

Let's imagine you're a penny collector. Each year you collect as many pennies as you can. These are the numbers of pennies you've collected each year for the past five years: 149, 256, 109, 375, and 499. You decide to create a stem-and-leaf plot to show your math teacher your penny collection history. Let's go over each step!

Step 1

Put your numbers in order from least to greatest. In this case, our numbers will be ordered like this: 109, 149, 256, 375, and 499.

Step 2

Draw your outline. So, draw a vertical line in the center of the piece of paper with the word 'Stem' on the top left and the word 'Leaf' on the top right.

Step 3

It's time to start writing numbers in the stem-and-leaf plot. Let's start with our smallest number, 109. Remember that in this number the numeral the 1 is in the hundreds place, the 0 is in the tens place, and the 9 is in the ones place.

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