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Lesson Plan: Scatter Diagram and Correlation

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to interpret a scatter diagram to identify different types of correlation between two quantitative variables.

Objectives

Students will be able to

  • draw and interpret a scatter diagram representing bivariate data,
  • distinguish between explanatory (independent) and response (dependent) variables and their respective location in a scatter diagram,
  • distinguish between positive and negative linear correlation,
  • use a scatter diagram to determine the direction and the strength of correlation between two quantitative variables,
  • determine when correlation does and does not lead to a causal relationship between two quantitative variables,
  • understand when to exclude or include outliers of a data set when considering correlations.

Prerequisites

Students should already be familiar with

  • quantitative variables,
  • mean, median, and mode,
  • standard deviation and interquartile range,
  • outliers.

Exclusions

Students will not cover

  • correlation coefficient,
  • nonlinear correlation,
  • bivariate data with nonlinear relations,
  • linear regression,
  • other regression models,
  • lurking or confounding variables.

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