Interpreting Graphs & Diagrams

Interpreting Graphs & Diagrams

The Great Lakes

Opening

The Great Lakes

How big do you think the Great Lakes are? To get an idea, open the Great Lakes interactive and drag the Great Lakes to the state of your choice.

  • Estimate which has a greater surface area, the Great Lakes or the state of your choice.
  • Estimate the surface area of all the Great Lakes combined.

After you’ve made your estimates, explain your thinking to your partner.

Discuss the following with your classmates.

  • What information do you need to know in order to calculate the volume of water in the Great Lakes?
  • How would you go about finding that information?

INTERACTIVE: Great Lakes

Problem-Solving Process

Opening

Problem-Solving Process

Discuss and use the problem-solving process with your classmates as you solve today's problems.

Problem-Solving Process

  1. Understand the problem situation.
  2. Represent the situation.
  3. Answer the question.
  4. Check that the mathematical answer makes sense.
  5. Prepare a presentation.

Math Mission

Opening

Math Mission

Analyze diagrams, interpret information, and create a strategy to determine the Great Lakes' water volume.

Explore the Great Lakes

Work Time

Explore the Great Lakes

Use the Exploring the Great Lakes interactive to explore the Surface Elevation, Average Depth and Maximum Depth of the Great Lakes

  • What does the vertical scale, ranging from –1,000 to 600, represent?
  • What does 0 on the vertical axis represent?
  • Elevation and depths are shown for each lake. Explain the meaning of each elevation and depth.
  • What does each blue area in the diagram represent? Can you tell which lake has the greatest volume and which has the least volume?

INTERACTIVE: Exploring the Great Lakes

Volume of the Great Lakes

Work Time

Volume of the Great Lakes

Use the table and Exploring the Great Lakes interactive to answer the following questions.

  • How can you use the information from the table and Exploring the Great Lakes interactive to find the volume of each Great Lake? What information could you use from the interactive?
  • What is the approximate volume of water in each Great Lake?
  • What is the volume of water in all of the Great Lakes combined?
  • Could all the water in Lakes Erie, Huron, Michigan, and Ontario fit in Lake Superior if Lake Superior was drained? If so, how much space would not be used? If not, how much water would spill out of Lake Superior?

Think about the diagram. Which measure of depth would you use to find the volume—the surface elevation, the average depth, or the maximum depth?

INTERACTIVE: Exploring the Great Lakes

Drop in Depth

Work Time

Drop in Depth

Discuss the following question from the previous task:

What do you think happens when water flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario?

  • Watch the Niagara Falls video.
  • What do you think is between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario?

VIDEO: Niagara Falls

Prepare a Presentation

Work Time

Prepare a Presentation

  • Summarize what you have learned about the Great Lakes. Use your work as evidence in your summary.

Challenge Problem

  • Write a paper in which you use mathematics to answer the question: “What is so great about the Great Lakes?”

Make Connections

Performance Task

Ways of Thinking: Make Connections

  • Take notes about other classmates’ approaches to finding the volume of water in the Great Lakes and their use of the problem-solving process.

As your classmates present, ask questions such as:

  • How did you use the diagram in the interactive to calculate the volume of water in each lake?
  • What unit conversions were necessary when calculating the volume of water in the lakes? Why?
  • How can you use the graphic to make sure your answer is reasonable?
  • Why should you use average depth when calculating the volume of water in each lake rather than maximum depth or surface elevation?
  • Which steps of the problem-solving process were the most helpful when answering the questions?

Reflect on Your Work

Work Time

Reflect on Your Work

Write a reflection about the ideas discussed in class today. Use the sentence starter below if you find it to be helpful.

One strategy that I used to solve a problem in this lesson is…