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MAKE A HISTOGRAM OF PEAS

We have here a large bag of fresh peas, still in their pods,
a paper plate so we won't be messy, a ruler, and pencil and
paper to make notes. Open a pea pod by grasping both ends
ofthe pod and slowly bend the pod in the same direction
it already is a little bent. This will break the seal on
the pod. Spread open the pod now, and look inside. See the
peas hanging in there? Count them, and make a note on your
paper. Measure the pod, and write down the length of the pod
beside the number of peas you found in it. Open nine more
pods, and write down the number of peas in each one, measure
the pods, and write down their lengths beside the number of
peas. Now, we'll make a histogram (pronounced "hist-oh-
gram"), which is a kind of graph that makes a picture of
the information we have learned.

Draw a straight line across your paper, from one side to the
other side. Look on your list of numbers of peas found in
the pods, and choose the lowest number. Put that number on
the left side of your paper, below the line. Look at your
list again, and find the highest number of peas found in the
pods, and write that number on the right side of your paper,
below the line. The smallest number of peas I found was
3, and the greatest number of peas I found was 9. My line
has "3" at one end and "9" at the other end. In between the
"3" and the "9", I will write "4", "5", "6", "7", and "8",
each number being the same distance away from the next
number. This is how you want to begin your histograms. We
will open more pods, and count the peas. Instead of writing
down the number of peas, we will look for that number on the
histogram, and put an "X" above the line, over the number
that is already written there. When there is another pod
with the same number of peas, just put the "X" above the"X"
that is over the number already written. Some numbers will
have long columns of "X"s above them. When we finish opening
all the pods, we can look for the longest column of "X"s, and
that will be the number of peas that is usually in a pod.
This is called the "average" (pronounced "avv-er-idge")
number of peas found in a pod. It might look like this:
x x
x x
x x x x x x x

3 4 5 6 7 8 9


In that histogram, the average number of peas in a pod is 5.
I have a few pods left. I'll pass them out so you each have
one. You can play a guessing game with it. How many peas
do you think will be in that pod after you open it? Look
at your histogram, and it will tell you how many peas were in
most of the pods you already opened, and decide how many
peas are probably in this last pod. Now open the pod, and
count the peas to see if your last pod had the same number of
peas as the histogram's average. Look up at your list again,
and notice the lengths of the pods you opened. Do you think
that longer pods have more peas in them then shorter pods?
Were there more long pods than short pods? You could make
another histogram to show the average length of pods, and
also decide if long pods mean more peas. Peas are food, and
we don't waste food. All the peas we have counted can be
washed and eaten. Some people just love to eat raw peas, and
some people prefer them cooked. We can eat some without
cooking them, and we can cook the rest of them in a little
water for a few minutes. Do cooked peas taste the same as
raw peas? Which way do you like them the most? Like other
plants, peas have a "season," which means the time of year
that they can be picked from the plants and sold. There is
a short time each year that they are ripe, just like apples,
peaches and everything else we eat which has grown from a
plant. The next group who does this experiment will have to
use green beans or black-eyed peas (which are really beans).
Beans cannot be eaten raw, and will have to be cooked before
we eat them. When we do this in the winter, we will use
canned whole green beans. That will be messy, but it will
still be fun! We can do this with any kind of fruit or
vegetable that has more than one seed inside. If we used
peaches or cherries, it wouldn't be fun, and we couldn't make
a histogram, because.....Why can't we do it with peaches or
cherries?


 
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