This learning sequence is designed to assist students to see the benefits of visual representations of data and to recognise that patterns in data are more easily discernible in graphs than in tables. Students use secondary sources of data to construct graphs using both manual and computer-based methods. Instructions are included to help students use spreadsheet software.
For most students the opportunity to construct graphs using a spreadsheet software package will be a skills application activity. All mathematics students at this level should be given opportunities to reinforce information and communication technology skills to investigate, create and communicate ideas focusing on key mathematical concepts.
These activities focus on climate data; specifically temperature and rainfall tables for a range of cities found in the Asia region. The data has been accessed from the World Climate Index.
Most mathematics students at this year level will have developed competence in using spreadsheet software packages such as Microsoft Excel. However, some students may need teacher scaffolding during these activities.
The activities provide opportunities to interpret data and to recognise patterns. They can also be used to explore Geography concepts relating to climate.
Teachers should note that the terms altitude and elevation are both used in the information provided for these activities. When talking about factors influencing climate, the term used by geographers is altitude, and when providing data about a place, elevation or height above sea level are the more appropriate terms.
Teachers should display examples of climate graphs in the classroom.
Activity 1: Creating climate graphs
Students will practise using a spreadsheet software package to create a climate graph for Tokyo.
Activity 2: Graphing climate
Students will develop their confidence in using other spreadsheet software packages by creating a climate graph for a chosen city in Asia. Students will access data from the World Climate Index. Ensure that cities apart from Tokyo are used.
Activity 3: Interpreting graphs
By comparing the graphs created in Activity 2, students will develop a sense of pattern. Students should keep a record of their observations for whole-class discussion.
Activity 4: Making groups
These activities demand a more sophisticated level of student thinking and could require greater scaffolding from the teacher.
This activity will place greater demands on students' prior knowledge and understanding of rainfall and temperature as well as their ability to identify similarities, differences and patterns. This provides an opportunity for students to use their prior learning about climate from the Geography learning area in new applications. They will use the graphs created in Activity 2.