Prior Knowledge Needed



Algebra I or II

BlumeŐs taxonomy (by question):

#1 comprehension; #2 application; #3 application; #4 knowledge & comprehension; #5 knowledge & application; #6 knowledge & application; #7 analysis


Day 1: Create interest through a discussion of the 1995 World Champion Houston Rockets. Some of the RocketŐs materials can be displayed, such as a video, Rocket shirts, and Rocket posters.

Ask the students to go to the World Wide Web to find data on the Houston Rockets 1995 World Championship Series. They can select any one of the four games.

Two sets of data will be compared for each team: the points scored and the time spent playing in the game for each individual player on the Rockets and on the Magic.

Discuss which set of data will be the independent and which will be the dependent variables, and why.

  1. Make a table of values for the points earned and the time spent in the game.

  2. Make a scattergraph of the points earned for that game (y coordinate) and the time played in that game (x coordinate), using different symbols or colors for members of the two teams.

  3. Make a line of best fit through the Rockets and the Magic data points.

  4. Find the equation of each line, using the point-slope formula.

Day 2: Place the data in the graphing calculator and make a line of regression. Discuss the meaning behind the graphed data. Contrast the slopes and y-intercepts. Interpret the meaning behind the slope and the y-intercept. Discuss the point of intersection and its meaning to the data.

A sample student activity follows.



Use the graph of the Rocket and Magic data of points scored and time played in that game to answer the questions below in complete sentences.

  1. Do you feel that the line of regression fits the Rockets and the Magic data well overall?

  2. Looking at the Rockets line, which point is farthest from the regression line? What do you think this means?

  3. Looking at the Magic line, which point is farthest from the regression line? What do you think this means?

  4. Name the slope of the line for the Rockets and for the Magic. Which one is larger? Why?

  5. Name the y-intercept for the Rockets and the Magic lines. What meaning can you give to each of these y-intercepts?

  6. In terms of points/minute, who was the most valuable player for the Rockets? for the Magic? What is the basis for your thinking? Who was the second most valuable player for each team? Why?

  7. What meaning can be given to the point of intersection for these graphs? Explain this thoroughly.

Optional assignment

Look at the data from all four games. Using the graphing calculator, graph the points and time spent playing in the game for the 1995 World Champion Houston Rockets. Determine in which game the Rockets had their best game (from these two data sets). Repeat for the Magic. Sketch two graphs, one for the Rockets and one for the Magic. Write a summary of the graphs and your conclusion.

Last updated on April 10, 1997 by Debbie Campbell (

These pages were developed through GirlTECH, a teacher training and student technology council program sponsored by the Center for Research on Parallel Computation (CRPC), a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center.