Lesson Plan: Chapter 11

Connecting to CSTA Standards

GradesConceptSubconceptStandard NumberPractice
6-8Data & AnalysisInference & Models2-DA-09Creating Computational Artifacts, Developing and Using Abstractions: 5.3, 4.4

Refine computational models based on the data they have generated.

A model may be a programmed simulation of events or a representation of how various data is related. In order to refine a model, students need to consider which data points are relevant, how data points relate to each other, and if the data is accurate. For example, students may make a prediction about how far a ball will travel based on a table of data related to the height and angle of a track. The students could then test and refine their model by comparing predicted versus actual results and considering whether other factors are relevant (e.g., size and mass of the ball). Additionally, students could refine game mechanics based on test outcomes in order to make the game more balanced or fair.

Connecting to NGS Standards

GradesStandard NumberConceptPractice
6-8MS-ETS1-4Engineering DesignDevelop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved

Learning Outcomes/Goals

In this chapter, students explore how data evolves and actually tends to generate more data, requiring an understanding of how the disparate elements of data fit together. Working through a storyline in which a raven steals one of the geodes, introducing a new elements into the way the data must shaped, organized, and made available for consumption. Moving from an inventory to the creation of a stone library, the student conceptualizes how their dataset needs to be shaped to support this new use case. In the process, they will use an online tool called sqlfiddle to build a database schema to suit this new use case.

Differentiated Instruction

Lower level studentsHigher level students
Can complete the project recipe in sqlfiddle by following the instructions in the textCan enhance the project by building new tables to support more use cases, building on their understanding of how SQL works

Transfer Learning

Creating models of data to support given users and their use cases is an important aspect of a database administrator's job. It's also important for developers to understand both their users needs and the shape of the data. Students can practice mocking up database tables and modeling the data that populates queries by considering other types of businesses or educational organizations (a museum, a restaurant, a theatre, a college)


  • Business logic: The process of describing how real life business requirements relate to each other. In the context of software development, software is built to align to this logic.
  • Field: In a database table, these are the columns describing a given data attribute.
  • Joins: The mechanism by which two database tables can connect to each other based on a common field.
  • Query: The process of extracting a given subset of data based on a selection of fields or parameters.
  • Schema: The definition of a relational database's tables and fields.
  • SQL: Structured Query Language; the language used to query relational databases, characterized by structured data.


Students should be able to articulate how the shape of data meets certain use cases and also must be shaped to serve the users needs, and how predictions can start to be built based on how users interact with this data

Research how data is modeled within a database context as tables are built, joined, and revised, based on the evolution of user needs. Write a conceptual paper on a year's evolution of an e-commerce databaseWrite a summary of the ways that a given database changed based on how users interacted with data. A sample use case to study would be the ways that adjustments were made to the infrastructure to support the introduction of streaming for football games by Amazon Primeopen in new window.

Quiz Answers

You should never store personal information in a database.

a. True

b. False

You use SQL to query which of the following?

a. Spreadsheet

b. Relational database

c. Non-relational database

You index a database table to:

a. Help with backups

b. Make a database query run faster

c. Copy data from one table to another

More Resources/Materials

Solution Code

The full solution SQL sample can be found hereopen in new window

Assignment and Rubric: Build Your Database

In this chapter, you built a model of a lending library by building its database schema, or design. The relationships between the table mirror the relationships between objects and their borrowers. As a database grows, it might generate new relationships that you don’t anticipate. Build a database design and explain how it might be used to generate new relationships.

An example might be a banking database, which might have a table of accounts and a table of transactions. Could you discover patterns of borrowing money that could lead to a marketing campaign or a new type of lending strategy?

Another example might be a museum, which would have a table of ticket sales linked to a table of exhibits. Could you discover patterns of people who are interested in an exhibit? How would you react to discovering such an insight?

ExemplaryAdequateNeeds Improvement
The student builds a model (perhaps using sqlfiddle) with a schema that relates to a given business case, describing the patterns of expected use and how the student would react to new use cases as applied to this schemaThe student creates a database schema without describing its potential evolutionThe student's database schema is buggy or oversimple

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