Lesson Plan: Chapter 9

Connecting to CSTA Standards

GradesConceptSubconceptStandard NumberPractice
6-8Data & AnalysisStorage2-DA-07Developing and Using Abstractions: 4

Represent data using multiple encoding schemes.

Data representations occur at multiple levels of abstraction, from the physical storage of bits to the arrangement of information into organized formats (e.g., tables). Students should represent the same data in multiple ways. For example, students could represent the same color using binary, RGB values, hex codes (low-level representations), as well as forms understandable by people, including words, symbols, and digital displays of the color (high-level representations).

Learning Outcomes/Goals

In this chapter, students start to work with data. In this case, the objective is to start sorting the stones tumbled around in the forest stream so as to start categorizing them, building an inventory. By working with the various data describing the stones, the student is encouraged to think about the many ways that an object or data point can be represeented. A rock, for example, can have a describable texture and color, but color itself can be described in many ways. You can show how color is represented in both low-level and high-level ways, describing the use case for each.

Differentiated Instruction

Lower level studentsHigher level students
Can create a sketch of an inventory sample set and convert it to a spreadsheet online using Google Sheets or Excel online, building graphs and chartsCan take a more complicated dataset and perform charting and graphing against it, enhancing it to show low and high level representations of various data

Transfer Learning

Data wrangling is the first task of any Data Scientist. Visit kaggle.comopen in new window and look at the various datasets available to the public. Download one and perform the same tasks from this lesson on this new dataset. What can you learn?


  • Data: A collection of values that represent information.
  • Dataset: A collection of data (see above).
  • Hexadecimal: A numeral system that represents numbers using 16 as its base, such that the values 1-16 are represented as 0 to 9 and A-F.
  • High-level vs. low-level abstraction: Generalizing information according to a high- or low-level context.
  • RGB: A color model where red, blue, and green are combined to form various shades.
  • Spreadsheet: Computer software designed to organize data in tabular format.
  • Table: Flat files with rows and columns of data represented.


Students can be assessed on their grasp of managing spreadsheets

Research how spreadsheets are used in business applications or to wrangle other types of data.Write a summary of the different ways that spreadsheets can be used to represent different aspects of data.

Quiz Answers

The following hexadecimal color - #FFFFFF represents:

a. Black

b. White

c. Red

A database often includes tabular data.

a. True

b. False

Spreadsheets are most useful for ___.

a. Visualizing data

b. Querying data

c. Organizing data in a table format

More Resources/Materials

Solution Code

A sample dataset and spreadsheet can be found hereopen in new window

Assignment and Rubric: Representing Data

Data can be represented in many different ways. Geodes, for example, come in many shapes and forms, with different types of crystals inside. Colors can be represented by RGB or HEX, and sizes can be represented by millimeters or centimeters. Give five examples of a thing that can be represented in different ways. Use the downloadable worksheet to organize your work. Be sure to include both a low-level and a high-level representation of a given value, such as colors.

ExemplaryAdequateNeeds Improvement
The student writes a report giving five examples of a thing that can be represented in different ways, both low and high level, using the worksheetThe student partially completes the work, showing only four elementsThe student turns in an incomplete worksheet, missing a deeper analysis of low and high level representations of the objects

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