What’s Going On in This Graph? | March 13, 2019

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What’s Going On in This Graph? | March 13, 2019

NOTE: Join us for our free webinar about teaching with graphs from The New York Times. Date: Wednesday, March 20 at 4 p.m. Eastern Time. Register here.

1. This graph shows the sources of electricity generation in the United States. The graph originally appeared elsewhere on NYTimes.com.

You can visit this article to find comparable graphs for each state, such as California, Maine or North Carolina.

After looking closely at the graph above (or at this full-size image) and possibly your state’s graph, think about these three questions:

What do you notice?
What do you wonder?
What are you curious about that comes from what you notice in the graph?
What might be going on in this graph?
Write a catchy headline that captures the graph’s main idea. If your headline makes a claim, tell us what you noticed that supports your claim.

The questions are intended to build on one another, so try to answer them in order. Start with “I notice,” then “I wonder,” and end with “The story this graph is telling is ….” and a catchy headline.

2. Next, join the conversation by clicking on the comment button and posting in the box that opens on the right. (Students 13 and older are invited to comment, although teachers of younger students are welcome to post what their students have to say.)

3. Next, join the conversation by clicking on the comment button and posting in the box that opens on the right. (Students 13 and older are invited to comment, although teachers of younger students are welcome to post what their students have to say or they can have their students use this same activity on Desmos.)

On Wednesday, March 13, our collaborator, the American Statistical Association, will facilitate this discussion from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern Time to help students’ understanding go deeper. You might use their responses as models for your own.

4. On the afternoon of March 14, we will reveal more information about the graph at the bottom of this post. Students, we encourage you to post an additional comment after reading the reveal. How does the original New York Times article and the moderators’ comments help you see the graph differently? Try to incorporate the statistical terms defined in the Stat Nuggets in your response.