Dot Plots


A dot plot is a graphical representation of data using dots.  The data is plotted on a number line using a scale of your choice.  Each dot represents a single value and the dots are stacked on top of one another to create columns.  The height of the column shows you the frequency of observations.

Dot Plots Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Dot Plots
  • Hands-on homework activities giving students practice on creating and reading Dot Plots
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grade 6 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

*Note: These lessons are PDF downloads. You will be directed to the download once you checkout. Clarendon Learning resources are FREE, we rely 100% on donations to operate our site. Thank you for your support!


The lesson introduces students to dot plots.  A dot plot is a graphical representation of data using dots.  During the lesson, students are given the opportunity to both interpret dot plots, and create their own.  The lesson may be used in conjunction with lessons related to data collection or graphing.

Classroom Instruction:

  1. Begin by explaining to students that summarizing data into a graph or chart helps people to better understand the information.
  2. While reading the content pages, reinforce vocabulary and give students additional examples of dot plot graphs in order to help them practice.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  3. Introduce the notes on dot plots. Have students practice drawing dot plots using different amounts for the key.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  4. Have students practice collecting data and drawing dot plots.
  5. Follow Activity page with students. Have students work as a class to collect the data for the four questions, this could be individually answering and recording the data or having large sheets around the room for them to post their answers.  Once the data has been collected, have students work in small groups to make a dot plot on a large piece of butcher paper or poster board which will eventually be hung in the hallway for other students to see.  Have students decorate and be creative!
  6. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses as a class.
  7. Distribute the Homework page. Have students share their findings at the beginning of the next class.
  8. In closing, ask students to think about what types of questions would and would not work for displaying data on a dot plot.
  9. Allow for responses and discussion.

Common Core State Standards: 

CCSS.Math.Content.6.SP.B.4, CCSS.Math.Content.6.SP.B.5

Class Sessions (45 minutes): 2 class sessions

Additional Resources:

Many more teaching resources in Download!

Want more math resources? Check out our other Math Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

6th Grade