Computer Skills Curriculum
Database Lesson Plan

Title: The Highs and Lows of Temperature Recording

Other Curriculum Objectives that can be addressed by this lesson plan
English Language Arts 2.1, 2.2, 4.1; Mathematics: (Gr. 6) 5.4, 6.1, 6.3, 6.5; Science: (Gr. 6) 2.7, 2.9, 2.11, 2.12, 3.3; Computer Skills: (Gr. 5) 2.2, (Gr. 6) 3.3; Information Skills 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2

Grade: 6
Competency 3.3: Use commercial software to organize and visually display data to draw conclusions.

Measure 3.3.3: Use probeware and a computer program to collect and graph temperature readings from different locations in your classroom to identify factors affecting the temperature.

Materials Needed: Pre-Activity: Thermometers. Activity: Temperature probeware program; two outside influences (fan, heater, lamp, hand fan), computer system on mobile cart, extension cable for temperature probe, graph paper, classroom display.

Time: Two class sessions: one class session with two or three daily checks and a second session for group discussions and final reports.

Terms: Database, Sort, Search, Report



Pre-computer Activity:

  • 1. Have students identify five areas of the room and discuss which area may have the lowest temperature and which the highest.
  • 2. Provide thermometers to each pair of students for them to record the temperature in two of the five areas.
  • 3. As the areas of the room are named, have the pairs of students state their temperature readings. Ask the class why the readings for the same area may vary.

Computer Activity:

  • 1. Set up a computer system with a temperature probeware program and printer as a "temperature check station." If possible, place the system on a mobile cart and use the longest cable possible to attach the temperature probe to the computer system.
  • 2. Introduce the students to the program and assign temperature readers for the five points in the room used in the non-computer activity.
  • 3. Have the readers sign up to "read with the probeware" their area at the beginning and at the end of each class period for two to three days.
  • 4. At the end of the temperature reading days, print the results of the temperatures recorded. (Or print at the end of each day if more appropriate for the software programs.)
  • 5. Have the readers for each area meet to examine the data for their area and discuss why any differences may have occurred during any one day and from one day to the next. Each group should report their findings and conclusions to the class.
  • 6. Provide each "area" group graph paper and have them graph the findings to post on a classroom chart with the print-out from the probeware program.
  • 7. Have each group discuss and write a paragraph stating their conclusion for the variation or static state in the area's temperature and the benefit of using a computer for data collection.

(Optional) On the second day of the temperature readings, introduce"outside influences" (such as an electric fan in one area of the room and a lamp in another area). Remove the two "outside influences" after three class periods, noting when the influences were entered and removed. The existence of the influences should be noted in the class report and on the class display.


Have each student mark on a sketch of the classroom the

  • 1. hotest area of the room
  • 2. coolest area of the room
  • 3. sources of any heat
  • 4. sources of any cool air

and write a short paragraph to justify why the area identified as the hotest overall for the recording period had the highest temperature.