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Jacqueline Gutierrez                                                         ETAP 529

Lesson Plan-Graph Weather Data Using MS Excel

Module Name: Graph Your Lab Data Using MS Excel

Author Name and Date Prepared: Jacqueline Gutierrez, revised 3/11/07

Target Group: Seventh grade general science students in regular and SP classes

School: IS 73, Queens

Institution/Location: IS 73, Maspeth, Queens

School Mission Statement:  The vision of our school involves continued alignment of our academic programs with the NCEE America's Choice reform model; which incorporates a standards-based curriculum focusing on the work shop model, performance standards with extensive professional development. Our goal is to have our students reach their individual benchmark of educational potential and success.

Institutional Structure: The principal’s approval is needed to purchase new resources.  The school has a computer lab.  The local library and Maspeth Town Hall are nearby and readily accessible to students.

Technology: Students will use the computers in the computer lab and/or the school library that have access to Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint or PowerPoint viewer. They will also have access to the internet.

Help Website: The school has no helpdesk but students can go to the website:

Microsoft-Product Solutions Centers-Help and Support

Students can then select Office Products>Excel2007, or select which MS program they are having trouble with.

Module Description: The purpose of this module is to teach computerized graphing skills to seventh grade science students.  We already had a unit about graphing, but it did not cover how to create graphs using a computer.

Students will complete this module over a two-week time period.  Students will check the local Queens, New York temperature and compare it to the San Francisco, California temperature.  They will collect daily temperature and note whether the day is sunny, partly cloudy, cloudy, or rainy.  Data must be recorded each day.  Students will be given websites to check to monitor both sets of temperatures.  Thermometers will not be distributed because these easily break.  During the first day, students will be instructed on how to obtain data about Queens, NY and San Francisco, CA temperature and cloudiness and to enter the information into an Excel spreadsheet.  During the second day, students will view presentations about how to create a line graph using MS Excel’s chart wizard, and how to create a bat graph also using MS Excel's chart wizard.

During the fourteenth day, students will create graphs of their own data.

On this day, students will also write summaries of what they learned and submit the summaries and graphs for grading.

Standards:THE STATE THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK,, Core Curriculum, Grades 5-8, Intermediate Level Science, STANDARD 1, Analysis, Inquiry, and Design, Key Idea 3: The observations made while testing proposed explanations, when analyzed using conventional and invented methods, provide new insights into phenomena., S3.1 Design charts, tables, graphs, and other representations of observations in conventional, and creative ways to help them address their research question or hypothesis.

S3.1a organize results, using appropriate graphs, diagrams, data tables, and other models to show relationships, S3.1b generate and use scales, create legends, and appropriately label axes, S3.2 Interpret the organized data to answer the research question or hypothesis and to gain insight into the problem., S3.2a accurately describe the procedures used and the data gathered, S3.2b identify sources of error and the limitations of data collected, S3.2c evaluate the original hypothesis in light of the data, S3.2d formulate and defend explanations and conclusions as they relate to scientific phenomena, S3.2e form and defend a logical argument about cause-and-effect relationships in an investigation, S3.2f make predictions based on experimental data, S3.2g suggest improvements and recommendations for further studying, S3.2h use and interpret graphs and data tables; STANDARD 2, INFORMATION SYSTEMS: 1.1 Use a range of equipment and software to integrate several forms of information in order to create good-quality audio, video, graphic, and text-based presentations., 2.2 Identify advantages and limitations of data-handling programs and graphics programs., Key Idea 3: Information technology can have positive and negative impacts on society, depending upon how it is used., 3.1 Use graphical, statistical, and presentation software to present projects to fellow classmates.

Module Goals and Objectives: The goal of this module is to teach students the proper way to enter data into a MS Excel spreadsheet and to convert that data into properly labeled line graphs.  Students will learn more about graphing, as they demonstrated that they need this topic reinforced.   They will also learn how to organize their data on a spreadsheet and how to generate bar graphs and line graphs using MS Excel.  They then could use these skills while preparing lab reports for the class later in the school year.  Students will have to correctly decide to use a line graph instead of a bar graph. 

Dates and/or Activity Schedule:

Day 1: Students use the “Google” search engine to find information about climate and temperature in Queens, NY and San Francisco, CA.   Students collect Queens, NY and San Francisco, CA daily temperatures and cloudiness levels. Students should note the time of the weathercast and any additional information that might give more explanation of the weathercast, such as if there a weathercam that went with the site and if there was rain or  sun.   The students will set up the data table and enter the first time points. 

Ongoing: Students will pose questions on the class blog. Other students will answer the questions, and the instructor will moderate as necessary.

Day 2: Students will view a PowerPoint presentation about how to create a line graph using MS Excel using the chart wizard, and when to choose a line graph.  Data collection continues. 

Day 3: Students will view a PowerPoint presentation about how to create a bar graph using MS Excel using the chart wizard, and when to choose a bar graph.  Data collection continues. 

Day 10: Students will continue to collect data and will submit an outline of what they plan to hand in on day 14, with preliminary data.

Day 14: Students will create graphs of their own data.  They will have to select whether to create a line graph or a bar graph. 

Day 14: Students will write summaries of what they learned and submit the summaries and graphs for grading.

Throughout the module, students will be encouraged to interact with each other using the science class blog.  Although they would not be allowed to share data from this website, they can share ideas and where they found their sources of information.

Module Content: 

The goal of this module is to teach students how to properly draw line graphs and bar graphs using MS Excel.  Students will collect data on temperature conditions in Queens, NY and San Francisco, CA and plot the temperature data using a MS Excel line graph, and frequency of sunny, partly cloudy, cloudy, and rainy days using a bar graph. 

In class activities: We will be discussing how scientists graph data in class, as it relates to the lab report data that students will collect in class.  I will go over the uses for bar graphs and for line graphs, and the proper way to label the axes.  We will discuss climate in different areas of the country. 

Evaluation: I will develop a rubric to grade the MS Excel spreadsheets and graphs that are submitted, and will develop another rubric to grade the summaries that the students write. 

Supporting documents: Student worksheets and the PowerPoint presentation are still under development.  The website for San Francisco, CA temperatures is: and the website for Queens, NY temperature is:

Justification for this Project: Students are looking for ways to make writing lab reports easier.  Many students still do not draw their graphs properly although we previously discussed graphing in class.  Since I am a floating teacher and have no access to the computer lab, I have no opportunity to teach them how to use MS Excel to graph their data.  Students may use the computers in the computer lab or in the library to complete this project.   


Students will receive between 1-4 points for each objective achieved based on the rubrics below.

Points = Excellent; 7-10 = Good; 4-6 = Needs Improvement


Rubric for Lab Report

  1 2 3 4 Score




Lab Report

No participation in the class blog.



No lab report is handed in.

One member of the class lead the entire blog discussion.



The lab report is handed in with only one graph.

Only only part of the material was discussed.



The lab report is handed in with only two graphs.

The student participated equally in the class discussion and graphed the data accurately.


The lab report is handed in with all three graphs.





Use of technology and software (MS Excel.)

Students were not able to use MS Excel on their own.

Students could use some features of MS Excel on their own.

Students use MS Excel on their own but have trouble using the Chart Wizard correctly.

Students use MS Excel on their own and are able to use the Chart Wizard correctly.