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Math for Kids23 chapters | 325 lessons

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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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

Now, we write the digit in the ones place (our 9) under the leaf heading. Then, we'll write the digits in the hundreds place and tens place together under the stem heading. So, write 10 in the stem column.

Repeat Step 3 with all of your other numbers. Make sure to write them in order from least to greatest.

Now, let's imagine you play your favorite video game every afternoon before dinner. Each day, you record your score. You decide to impress your math teacher with a stem-and-leaf plot. Let's get started.

Your scores are: 167, 95, 160, 175, 108, 188, 104, 99, and 167.

Put your numbers in order from least to greatest: 95, 99, 104, 108, 160, 167, 167, 175, and 188.

Draw your stem-and-leaf plot outline.

Record your smallest number. In this case, our smallest number is 95. Write 5 under the leaf heading, and write 9 under the stem heading.

But wait, what do you do with 99? You don't have to put another 9 under the stem heading! Just use the one you have. Write an additional 9 after the 5 in the leaf column.

Repeat for each number in your list, from least to greatest.

When all is said and done, our stem and leaf chart for your scores looks like this:

A **stem-and-leaf** plot is a way to organize numbers. The **stem** refers to the numbers to the left of the ones place, and the **leaf** refers to the number in the ones place.

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Math for Kids23 chapters | 325 lessons

{{courseNav.course.topics.length}} chapters | {{courseNav.course.mDynamicIntFields.lessonCount}} lessons | {{course.flashcardSetCount}} flashcard set{{course.flashcardSetCoun > 1 ? 's' : ''}}

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