Education Technology

Middle Grades Math: Real Graphs

by Texas Instruments


  • Students will explore the plots of various data sets, looking for patterns.
  • Students will identify plots that appear to be functions.
  • Students will determine which plots appear to form a linear pattern, and then acquire the best function that models the pattern, in the form of y = mx + b.
  • Students will parse the linear function, looking at the slope and the y-intercept in the context of the data that was used. They will identify the units of these values and their contextual meaning.
  • Students will use functions to model relationships between quantities.


  • function
  • model
  • y-intercept
  • slope
  • table
  • linear function
  • variables
  • independent variable
  • dependent variable
  • set

About the Lesson

This lesson involves identifying patterns of data from given lists.
As a result, students will:

  • Identify patterns that might represent functions, and in particular, linear functions.
  • Represent realistic relationships.
  • Identify the best function to fit the data and examine its parts in context.