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Find or Gather Numerical Data (Mathematical Modeling)


What data can I find or gather about my topic?

Find or gather data that will help you grasp the topic’s key concepts.​

In some cases, the relevant data for this task will be supplied to students. If the data is not supplied, students will locate numerical data that they can use to address the research topic. The data may be found in the resources students gathered in the research formative task or generated by students within the class (e.g., as the results of a survey).

Time To Complete 

1-2 Hours

Common Core Standards 

  • CCSS.MP.5
  • CCSS.MP.4
  • CCSS.MP.2

I Can Statements 

I can

  • support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant, accurate data and evidence that demonstrate an understanding of the topic.
  • quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
  • draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

I will know that my numerical data are of high quality when they:

  • Demonstrate my understanding of my topic
  • Support my claim and analysis
  • Are accurately recorded and drawn from credible sources
  • Are properly cited to demonstrate the credibility and authority of the source
  • Include paraphrases, direct quotations, and indirect quotations


Suggestions for Assessing Student Readiness to Move Forward:

  • Confer with students, asking probing questions about their research process to gauge how well their data collection meets the quality criteria.
  • Ask students to show you their notes or data table and briefly describe (orally or in writing) their system for recording and organizing the results of their data collection.
  • Ask students to show the data they have gathered in organized notes/note cards, graphic organizer, draft data table(s), or suitable drafting activity to gauge how well it meets the quality criteria.
  • Ask students to self-evaluate their work after completing one of the activities below. 
Possible Activities 
  1. Teachers can review with the class how different kinds of data can be represented, and the value of these representations in terms of providing a summary of the data.

  2. Provide students with a checklist of things to look for in the documents (title, key, labels, date, and source). 

  3. Use a protocol like DIRA:

    • (D) Describe: What do you see?
    • (I) Interpret: What do things represent? Are there symbols: what do they stand for?
    • (R) Reflect: What inferences can you make? What are your initial thoughts?
    •  (A) Analyze:  What was the creator’s purpose? What point were they trying to make?
  4. Students examine the same data represented in different forms. Have students work in pairs and discuss each format and its strengths and weaknesses. If someone is going to present data, what questions should they ask themselves when deciding on format? When should they use a pie chart as opposed to a bar graph? http://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/pdf/graph_tutorial.pdf

  5. Students could be given data and asked to create charts or graphs to represent that data. This could be as simple as drawing them on paper or using computer programs such as Excel to create the documents. Refer to this video on how to create charts and graphs in Excel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLW1A7j7r3Y


Resources about Data Available

Data Resources


Internet-Based Data Source

US Census Data Tools

US Census Quick Facts

Basic educational videos on science charts and graphs

National Climate Data Center

Bureau of Economic Analysts

Downloadable Resources 
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