Data talks are short 5-10 minute classroom discussions to help students develop data literacy. This pedagogical strategy is similar in structure to a number talk, but instead of numbers students are shown a data visual and asked what interests them. In a data talk the teacher does not have to be an expert in the topic of the data visualization – if a student asks a question, you can say that you do not know the answer but would love to find out, together! This a nice opportunity to model not knowing, and embracing uncertainty. Data talks are intended to pique students’ curiosity and encourage question asking, and to help them understand and “read” the data-filled world in which they live.
On this page, you can download a paper explaining what a data talk is, then try one or more of the data talks below with your students. To learn more about data talks and the importance of Data Science, we recommend our latest online course, 21st Century Teaching and Learning, our data science lessons for grades 6-10, and our data science picture book.
The New York Times, in association with the American Statistical Association, ASA – shares weekly graphs that are also great sources for data talks. For more information go to What’s Going on in this Graph.