Education Technology

Does a Correlation Exist?

Published on 10/07/2008

Activity Overview

Students will use the activity center to view correlations that are positive, negative, or no correlation.

Before the Activity

Students need to be able to construct a scatterplot and fit a line.

During the Activity

Prepare several items that could be put into the list of the calculator.

I picked the axis for the first time and then I asked the students which variable to put on the independent and dependent axis. As the students asked the question "what if" it was easy to change the axis and let the students develop a better understanding of what was happening.

Some suggestions are:

  • number of pets vs. student height
  • number of family members living in your house vs. shoe size
  • number of cans of pop bought each week vs total money spent
  • $100 in your pocket, go shopping, vs money left after shopping trip
  • number of cups of cocoa sold vs outside temperature
  • have the students pick three temperatures below 50F and the amount of time they would stay outside for each temperature


  • Using the activity center (contributing a list section) gather the information from the students. If you want the students to graph any of the data you could send the list back. Sending a different list to each group of students to graph would let the class see several different graphs at the same time.

    After the Activity

    To check for understanding have the students come up with their own ideas for a positive, negative, and no correlation list of variables.