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Grade: Senior
Subject: Mathematics

#3620. Scatter Plot Basketball

Mathematics, level: Senior
Posted Wed Jan 18 08:02:29 PST 2006 by Josh Harrison (
Pickens High School, Pickens, SC USA
Materials Required: in lesson plan
Activity Time: 45 min class or longer
Concepts Taught: plotting points, scatter plot, correlation

The students will be able to plot points accurately on a graph.
The students will be able to correctly identify scatter plots.
Given a scatter plot, the students will be able to interpret the data for any relationship between the inputs and the outputs.

SC Algebra 1

Basketball and goal(gym or door type)
2 sheets of graph paper for each student
whiteboard, markers, and eraser for teacher
timer or stopwatch

Make sure to secure the gym ahead of time or use a goal that hangs on a door(just watch the noise!).

Easy steps to follow:
1. Explain the rules to the students. Tell them that they will have 30 seconds to shoot lay-ups back and forth from the left side to the right side. Then they will record the number of shots made. I also made sure that my students knew not to make fun of others as they were shooting.
2. Have the students set up a table to record the information. Use three columns for the table. Label the 1st as the number of the student in order 1, 2, 3.. Label the 2nd as the height of the student. Label the 3rd as the number of shots made by the student.
3. Then have the students take turns shooting. Everyone else should be reminded to keep count. I completed about 10 trials in each class, but I only have 45 min. If you have more time, you may want to do more trials.
4. After completing this, make two graphs. Make the first using the student number on the x-axis and the number of shots made on the y-axis. You can introduce the plotting of points here or on the previous class day. Explain to the students that this is a scatter plot. Show them that it almost looks like dots just scattered across a paper. Have the students look at the graph and see if the number of the student affects the number of shots made. Hopefully, there should not be a relationship. Make the second graph using the height of the student on the x-axis and the number of shots made on the y-axis. Then have the students look at the relationship here. There should be a slight or maybe very noticeable relationship between height and shots made.
5. Show the students more real-life examples from other sources such as the book. Practice looking for relationships with the students.

Have the students plot a number of points and look for a relationship. You can also have the students make up their own scatter plot using real-life or a made-up story. Use those writing skills, even in math.