This activity could take place in the museum or in the classroom. It is differentiated so educators can decide how best to adjust the level of instruction to fit students' abilities.
Objective: Students will become familiar with vocabulary (data set, plotting,). They will create different visualization possibilities for the same data set and discuss the best possible format for the given content.
1. Present students with a chart, table, or spreadsheet with data from a topic related to your current curriculum.
2. Explore various formats for the same data set: bar graph, pie chart, line graph, or a map. Discuss which visual communicates the data most clearly. How does the visual presentation of the information affect your perception of the numbers themselves?
3. Study a specific example of multiple perspectives, such as Robert Morris' Wall and Ditch, from "Earth Projects: A Suite of 10 Prints." This project displays data and plans for imagined projects on one plot of land in Missouri. Which visual best communicates to you? Why might you need more than one representation?
4. Choose one plot or area near your classroom (on the playground, in your school) and recreate a similar project. Ask students to imagine different engineering or landscaping projects they could implement in this area. Ask them to document and map the same project in various formats (topographical map, elevation, plan, engineering diagram). Older students could include material lists, statistics, and figures.