7.4 Data Visualization Project (optional)

Time Estimate: 90 minutes

Introduction and Goals

In this lesson, you will work with a partner to identify and analyze a large data set that interests both of you. This project requires developing several questions, or hypotheses, about the data and then investigating them by creating visualizations to answer those questions. As you complete your project, keep track of your process on your portfolio using the reflection questions as a guide.

Learning Objectives: I will learn to
  • develop hypotheses about data
  • create a visualization from data
  • work with a partner to gain new insights about data
Language Objectives: I will be able to
  • summarize a set of data and describe what information can be extracted from it
  • use target vocabulary while making hypotheses, creating visualizations, and gaining knowledge from data, with the support of concept definitions from this lesson

Learning Activities


  1. Work collaboratively to research, investigate and analyze a large data set making sure that your project meets the following specifications.
    1. Data Sources: For this project, your large data set must contain at least 1,000 data values or cells. (You may use one of these data sources, but you are encouraged to find others!)
    2. Questions & Hypotheses: Brainstorm with your partner 3-5 questions and corresponding hypotheses that you believe can be answered using your chosen data set.
      First, write a question you have about the data set you chose.
      Now, convert that question into a hypothesis (a statement) with your prediction about the data.
      Hypotheses take the form of "If __________, then _________."
      For example, a hypothesis about student debt data could be, "If the tuition costs are higher at an institution, the student debt will be higher."
  2. Download the data and put it into a Google Sheet. Record where you found the data set and when you downloaded it so you can cite it in your portfolio write-up.
  3. Work collaboratively and use the tools available on the Google Spreadsheets and/or Google My Maps to determine if your 3-5 hypotheses are supported or refuted.
  4. Create your own data visualizations that illustrate your hypotheses using Google Sheets and/or Google My Maps (do not use any existing visualizations that may have accompanied your data set, but create your own).
    1. If you need a refresher on different types of graphs and when to use them, this short tutorial from MathGoodies may be helpful, as well as this reference to different types of charts available in Google Sheets.
    2. For each chart, make sure it includes a title and has the appropriate values labeled on its axes.
  5. Complete the portfolio reflection questions below.
  6. (Optional) Give a 5-10 minute oral presentation with visuals (a PowerPoint with charts, graphs, etc.) Your presentations should follow the same structure as your portfolio write-up.


In this lesson, you learned how to:

Reflection: For Your Portfolio

Answer the following portfolio reflection questions as directed by your instructor. Questions are also available in this Google Doc where you may use File/Make a Copy to make your own editable copy.

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