Pilot - U5L01 - Representation Matters

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I taught this lesson to a group of 7 & 8 graders in an advanced technology course. The students are comfortable with CSD lessons having just completed Unit 3. The lesson was well received, but the notes on handling frustration (with lack of information) were appropriate and needed. However, I noticed that ALL of the recipes do have eggs in them. The lesson mentions that menu item #1 does not, but the recipe clearly refers to eggs. I just let them know that none of the items would be appropriate for person number 1 (but you may want to change the data sets documentation so there is clearly a best choice). Also, I found it a little confusing that the lesson plan refers to two different documents (Representation Matters & Meals Data) but all documents are included in the first link, while just the meal data is included in the second download. The first document should ONLY have Person 1-4 descriptions and questions, but not the meal data sheets if that is provided in another link.

The lesson was well received and had the students actively reflecting on what their notions of “Data” are and adding to their knowledge. Good class discussions after they had time to reflect on the journal prompts.

Thanks, Matt. We were back and forth on the recipes, and it looks like I forgot to take the eggs out of the instructions, just the ingredient list. I just fixed the Activity Guide, so it should be good to go, now. I also just make the changes you mentioned to the Activity Guide. Thanks for the heads up about that problem. Sorry about the confusion it caused.

I’m glad to hear that the kids were having good discussions, and thanks for being the point person on this lesson.


I am in a high school in San Jose, CA and have a mix of 9-12 grade students in the 3 classes that I teach this. The class is comprised of students from the highest achieving at the school to the lowest.

The first lesson went smoothy as written in the lesson guide.

Students answered the warm up questions easily and actually one one person brought up data as the data on my phone.

The activity
Students completed the activity with no problem. The pictures were a little dark printed in grayscale and students complain that they were hard to see. I told them that you had to use what was given and they were okay with that.

“come back together as a class and share the answers and reasoning for each recommendation.”

This was the only place where some thought about planning could come in. It was a little strange to just pick groups and have them recommend meals and have the discovery of what data source they had come out. In hindsight, I think I would have put two groups together that had different data groups and have them compare/contrast and come up with the “best” answer for each question along with justification. Then everyone would have had a chance to discuss a bit about the different data sources without me.

As it stands, everyone was super excited when I projected the pictures! Finally full color.

We did come to the conclusion that the type of data you want really depends on the type of questions you want to answer. Or that you can only really answer certain questions with a limited type of data.

I did whip around and quiz the students verbally about, “what did we learn today?” And it was typically comical when half of the students could not repeat the above idea. After 5-10 min of doing this, everyone could. I did ask them to regurgitate it later in the week and we will see if they could do it.(I had a sub and haven’t looked yet.)

@jold thanks for the little tips on how to improve the lesson. It will be interesting to hear whether and how the understand this lesson in a few days, especially in the context of subsequent lessons. Our hope is that the broader story of using data to make decisions will stick around even as they deep dive on representation of data.

If you have a Nearpod account, here is a link to download a very basic Nearpod lesson for lesson 1. I have found middle schoolers are much more likely to share answers in this way. I will be doing this lesson in a few days and will let you know how it went using this. To download the presentation to your Nearpod library, click here: https://share.nearpod.com/e/9MCYk1sQNC

You can open a free Nearpod account. I finally upgraded this year and like the reports I can get.


Thanks, that’s really great. I didn’t have a Nearpod account, but I was able to sign in with my Google account. I look forward to hearing how the lesson goes.


Using Nearpod worked well with this unplugged lesson. It was a great lesson to get the kids thinking about data and how we use it. Similar to what someone already mentioned there was the connection to phone data and how they monitor their usage.