Lesson 14

What is a Line Plot?

Lesson Purpose

The purpose of this lesson is for students to learn about the ways a line plot can be used to represent data collected from measuring objects.

Lesson Narrative

In a previous unit, students created and interpreted two representations of categorical data, bar graphs and picture graphs. In a previous lesson, students measured length using metric and customary units.

In this lesson, a line plot is defined as a way to show how many of each measurement using an x for each measurement. Students collect numerical data by measuring their hand spans and create a class line plot to display their measurements. Through the lesson activities, students learn that each x on the line plot represents one measurement. They learn that the scale of the line plot shows the length units used to measure and resembles the way length units are labeled on a ruler. Students notice that the length units on the scale of the line plot are not exactly the same length as the length units used to measure (inches), but that labels can help others know what length unit was used (MP2, MP6). Students will gain experience working with line plots throughout the rest of the section. Save the class line plot you create for reference in future lessons. 

  • Engagement
  • MLR8

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

  • Interpret a line plot.
  • Understand that a line plot is used to represent and interpret numerical data.

Student Facing

  • Let’s learn a new way to represent data.

Required Materials

Materials to Gather

Required Preparation

Activity 1:

  • Create a blank line plot with a scale from 0 to 10 for students to place their measurements on.
  • Ensure the tick marks are equally spaced with enough room for students to place their sticky notes.

CCSS Standards


Building Towards

Lesson Timeline

Warm-up 10 min
Activity 1 20 min
Activity 2 15 min
Lesson Synthesis 10 min
Cool-down 5 min

Teacher Reflection Questions

In a future lesson, students will create their own line plots. What do students need to understand in order to be successful? How did this lesson prepare them to create their own line plots?

Suggested Centers

  • Number Puzzles: Addition and Subtraction (1–4), Stage 4: Within 100 with Composing (Addressing)
  • Target Measurements (2–5), Stage 1: Inches and Centimeters (Addressing)

Print Formatted Materials

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Additional Resources

Google Slides

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PowerPoint Slides

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