Scatter Plot Lesson Plan

Instructor: Josh Corbat

Josh has taught Earth Science and Physical Science at the High School level and holds a Master of Education degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.

In this lesson, students will analyze data sets and solve word problems using scatter plots. After completing the practice activity, students will have a better understanding of the practicality of using scatter plots to organize and answer questions about bivariate data sets.

Learning Objectives:

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • analyze bivariate data and create a scatter plot from a bivariate data set
  • solve a word problem that uses bivariate data using a scatter plot


30-60 minutes

Curriculum Standards:


Construct and interpret scatter plots for bivariate measurement data to investigate patterns of association between two quantities. Describe patterns such as clustering, outliers, positive or negative association, linear association, and nonlinear association.


Know that straight lines are widely used to model relationships between two quantitative variables. For scatter plots that suggest a linear association, informally fit a straight line, and informally assess the model fit by judging the closeness of the data points to the line.


  • Begin the lesson by reviewing what students know about bivariate data and the coordinate plane. Review how to plot a bivariate data point on a simple (x,y) coordinate plane.
  • Show students the video lesson called Creating & Interpreting Scatterplots: Process & Examples.
  • Pause the video at 3:49. Using the data on the screen, have students attempt to make a scatter plot. Circulate the room and make sure students are getting the basic skills correct. Focus on plotting points and understanding the x- and y-axes.
  • Resume the video. After the video have students complete (or fix) their scatter plot.
  • Next, show the video lesson: How to Use Scatter Plots to Solve Word Problems.
  • Pause the video at 1:46 and rewind the video to 1:33 (so the numbers appear on the x- and y-axis). Ask students a few formative questions about this plot. For example:
    • How tall was the grass on day 4?
    • How many inches does it grow per day?
  • Resume the video, answering any remaining questions.

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