This lesson focuses on qualitative aspects of graphs, so there are no units or scale on the axes. In the warm up, students analyze two different graphs that represent the same situation (based on a series of photos). Depending on which quantities are chosen as the dependent and independent variable, both graphs describe different aspects of the same story. The two functions represented have the same independent variable (time), but different dependent variables (distance from edge of lawn vs. distance from the camera).
In the following activity, students identify independent and dependent variables from contexts and select an appropriate graph to match their choices. Different choices are possible, so students must be precise about which choice they are making and explain how the choice relates to the graph (MP6). In the final activity, students create a graph from a story. In doing so, students have to make many choices about the aspects of a situation they want to represent with a mathematical object—this is an important part of modeling with mathematics (MP4). Depending on the variables chosen, graphs of the same situation can appear to be different but still tell the same story.
- Compare and contrast (orally) peers’ graphs that represent the same context.
- Comprehend that graphs representing the same context can appear different, depending on the variables chosen.
- Draw the graph of a function that represents a context, and explain (orally) which quantity is a function of which.
Let’s draw a graph from a story.
- I can draw the graph of a function that represents a real-world situation.
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