In this lesson, drawn and adapted from a district assignment, Mallory Williamson’s 5th-grade students create and analyze a line plot using fractions.
During the lesson, Mallory and her students work at different depths of knowledge with a line plot. Mallory builds in scaffolds so that students can discover how and why to create a line plot, including countering the prior conception of some students that a number line is required to start with a zero. She challenges them to identify the purpose and goal of using a line plot, incorporating whole-group and small-group work as they complete each part of the lesson. The small groups engage in discussion with Mallory around what whole numbers represent on the line plots and models the students created.
By watching this lesson, teachers will be able to help students explain and defend their thinking around the purpose of representing their line plots the way that they did. While students may not find creating a line plot difficult, they may find explaining their reasoning more challenging. Mallory requires her students to use their model to justify the solution they found.
Mallory has been teaching 5th grade for the entirety of her ten years in teaching, the majority of them at the same elementary school in Polk County, Florida.