Mystery Class Graphs
Questions to Ask

Each week's Mystery Class News Update includes questions to help students make sense of their changing graphs. Ideally, you and your students will be co-explorers who use these to unravel the mysteries. You should also ask yourselves these core questions each week:

  • What do we notice about the data (or graph)? What patterns do we see?
  • What has changed since last week?
  • What does it tell us?

If you'd prefer to have more insight or guide students more explicitly, consider the following questions. Please use them as a last resort when your students are stuck. Some reveal information that your young scientists should be able to discover on their own! (Note: You can revise these when comparing mystery classes with one another.)

Questions About Day Length Data

  • Is the length of the day (photoperiod) in our town getting longer or shorter? Are we located north or south of the equator?

  • Is the length of the day (photoperiod) in Mystery Class X getting longer or shorter? From this information, can we conclude that Mystery Class X is north or south of the equator?

  • What is the day length in our town? What is it in Mystery Class X? Can we conclude that Mystery Class X is north or south of us?

Questions About Graph Lines

  • Which Mystery Class line is the steepest? What does that tell us about changes in the site's photoperiod from week to week?

  • Compare the steepest line to the line for our hometown. Can we conclude that Mystery Class X is closer to or farther from the equator than we are?

  • Are the photoperiod lines for any two sites coming together or growing apart? What does this tell us?

Other Questions

  • Using our information, how would we list Mystery Class locations from north to south?
Teacher Advice: Gayle Kloewer shares tips on creating and making sense of photoperiod graphs.