Lessons Integrating Information and Communication Technology within a Curriculum Area


Byron Douglas Butt


Remembering Our Veterans – Data Management Project

Grade Level

Junior High – grade 7

Subject Area


Overview of unit/lessons/activities (assumptions of prior knowledge/learning)


This particular project utilizes data collected from various sources (Veterans Affairs, Royal Canadian Legion, Department of National Defence) based on Canadian military statistics. It allows students to consolidate some of their understanding of data management, while using the theme of Remembering Our Veterans. This could be done at any time of the year but would be especially appropriate if the unit on data management (GCO F) is covered during October or November. Some data files are provided, including some extensive data from World War I and other general information about conflicts of the past century. Students will plan and create a PowerPoint presentation using some of this information, as well as incorporating other data they have found on their own, to show their knowledge of different types of data displays (especially bar graphs and histograms) and to show their analysis of the data they have used. They will use Inspiration to prepare their plan, giving an overview of the information and displays they will include in their presentation. If data displays are done by hand, students will need to scan their work or take a digital photograph of it in order to include this work in the presentation.


Students in grade 7 and 8 work on outcomes related to data management. They learn the development of surveys, collection of data, display of data using circle graphs, histograms, box-and-whisker plots, and scatter plots, as well as the analysis of such data that is collected.

Although in grade 7 it is a good idea to begin with hand drawn data displays, using a spreadsheet application such as Microsoft Excel or AppleWorks would produce more polished data displays. These programs are useful as enrichment in grade 7 and as a core component of the grade 8 curriculum in data management. There are also specialized software applications, which may be available in some schools (Fathom and TinkerPlots) which allow data to be displayed in a variety of ways.

There are many opportunities for incorporating ICT (Information and Communication Technology) into mathematics activities. Some suggestions are given here. Not all of these activities would be used in this project. Students might use such programs as Inspiration or Writer’s Companion to plan their work and may also use a word processor such as Microsoft Word, AppleWorks or Star Office to design the final product. Students may use the Internet to do webquests, search for survey project ideas, access Statistics Canada (E-STAT) or other websites of statistics for meaningful data information, etc. Students may use PowerPoint to develop class presentations on how to design a proper data display. Digital Video (IMovie / Pinnacle Studio) may be used to design “math movies” to demonstrate an understanding of particular concepts such as “range” or “median”.

Correlations to ICT and curriculum outcomes

Gr. 7 Mathematics Outcomes    F3:                  select, defend, and use appropriate data collection methods and evaluate issues to be considered when collecting data.

                                                    F4:                   construct a histogram

                                                    F7:                   formulate statistics projects to explore current issues from within mathematics, other subject areas, or the world of students.


ICT Outcomes:                           SEHI 9.3         understand, model, and assume personal responsibility for the acceptable use of copyrighted and other information resources

                                                    PTS 9.5           develop multimedia presentations, based on sound principles of design, with increasing confidence,  efficiency and independence

                                                    RPSD 9.1        select appropriate measuring and recording devices and/or software to collect data, discover patterns of change over time, solve problems and  make logical decisions based on their investigations; with teacher assistance

                                                    RPSD 9.2        create and use electronic charts, maps, tables, graphs, spreadsheets, and databases to collect, analyse and display data independently

                                                    RPSD 9.9        accurately and independently cite information sources

Projected timeline for preparation and for carrying out activities

Four to six class periods: (estimated based upon periods of approximately 50 minutes each)

Period 1:         Have students work in groups to develop their presentations. (2 to 4 students, depending upon the availability of computers). With the whole class, review the software titles the students will be using - Inspiration and PowerPoint. “QuickStart” tutorials for these titles are available at http://lrt.ednet.ns.ca. See the list of resources for the exact links. You should also review of bibliographic formats, copyright requirements and methods of citing work.

Period 2:         Continue the work of designing the layout of the presentation, using Inspiration software.

Periods 3-5:    The groups continue to work with the technology and their data, producing their PowerPoint        presentations, using the secondary data provided. Graphical displays of data should be produced for the presentation. These can be made using spreadsheet software (e.g., Microsoft Excel, AppleWorks)

Final period:    Groups present their work to the class.

Equipment Requirements: (computers, software, etc)

Computers with internet access and use of brainstorming/planning software, as well as word processing, presentation, and spreadsheet software, e.g., Inspiration, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint.

Since students will be working in groups, the number of accessible computers required is variable. Several computers in one or two classroom “pods” would work effectively with some pre-planning or if teachers carry the project over a longer period of time to allow some groups access to the computers while others are working on other aspects of the curriculum. Access to a computer lab may be useful, but is not a necessity. Depending on the school, a mobile lab of laptops may be available for use during this project.

Teaching materials provided (Blacklines, worksheets, templates, teacher materials)

Student assignment handout: Data Management Project (Word format) (pdf format)

Data samples:

Canada at War (Word format) (pdf format)
World War I (Word format) (pdf format)
World War I data (Excel format) (Fathom format) (TinkerPlots format)


Resources available for teacher/student use (websites, references, etc)

For information about using technology:

http://lrt.ednet.ns.ca/PD/pdf/powerpt_qs.pdf – PowerPoint “QuickStart”
http://lrt.ednet.ns.ca/PD/pdf/insp_v6.pdf – Inspiration 6 “QuickStart”
http://lrt.ednet.ns.ca/PD/pdf/insp_v7.pdf – Inspiration 7 “QuickStart”
www.atomiclearning.com – learn how to use a variety of software programs (full service requires paid subscription)
www.office.microsoft.com – learn how to use a variety of software programs by Microsoft
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page – for research purposes
http://teach-nology.com/web_tools/rubrics  or http://rubistar.4teachers.org/index.php – to design a rubric

For sources of data about Canadian military history:

Royal Canadian Legion:   http://www.legion.ca/asp/docs/about/MilHeritage_e.asp
Department of National Defence:   http://www.forces.ca/
Directorate of History and Heritage (Dept. of National Defence): http://www.forces.ca/hr/dhh/
Veterans Affairs Canada:   http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/
Veterans Affairs Canada Youth site (choose “Canadian Military History”)     http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/youth/
EBSCO:   http://search.epnet.com

 For a wealth of Canadian statistical information:

Statistics Canada, E-STAT:  http://estat.statcan.ca/

Here is an excellent Statistics Canada Online Publication:
                 Statistics: Power From Data!   http://www.statcan.ca/english/edu/power/about/about2.htm

Detailed instructions for each activity or lesson (teacher notes, activity information, learning strategies, teacher role, student roles)

Period 1:         Review Inspiration and PowerPoint. Discuss design options and principles. Review the use of bibliographic formats and methods of citing sources. Have students work in groups to develop their presentations. (2 to 4 students, depending upon the availability of computers). This could be done in class, using a computer and LCD projector for the review and samples, and then have students work on their plans in groups.

Period 2:         Groups continue developing their presentation, using Inspiration to produce their final plan. This could be done in class, with computers available for groups as they complete their ideas and discussions. If there is a computer lab available, this could also be carried out in that situation. The sample student handout provided with this unit asks each group to find some additional data from other sources for part of their presentation. This would require the use of computers for searching the Internet to find useful information. The groups are expected to produce three graphs using their data; one each of a histogram, and a bar graph, plus one other graph of their choice. These requirements may be altered to suit the situation. The analysis of the data used is an important component of the activity, and may require the bulk of the time used in the planning and preparation of the presentation.

Periods 3-5    The groups continue to work with the secondary data, and develop their statistical displays and their  presentations. They may require other software applications, such as MS Excel or the AppleWorks spreadsheet module in order to produce the charts they wish to display. These can be included in the presentations. If their displays are created by hand, students will need to digitize them for the presentation. They can be scanned, or a digital camera can be used to photograph the sheets, and the graphics inserted into the presentation.

Final Period:    Groups present their work to the class.
Detailed student instructions can be found in the file:

Data Management Project (Word format) (pdf format)

Student products expected

An Inspiration web, created to help in the development of ideas for the plan of the presentation.
A Powerpoint presentation containing tables, charts, and text, with options for the inclusion of graphics and sounds.

NOTE:  Any materials included in the presentation must comply with Canadian copyright laws. See comments below.

Samples (include teacher notes, assessment information, student work if available)

Data files:

Excel - WWI.xls
Fathom - WWI.ftm
TinkerPlots - WWI.tp

MLA citations for website information included here:

citations_web.rtf     (word processor)
citations_web.pdf   (Acrobat Reader)


Individual Self Assessment for group project: (Word format) (pdf format)
Planning with Inspiration: (Word format) (pdf format)
Presentation Rubric: (Word format) (pdf format)
Project Scoring Rubric (Word format) (pdf format)

Sample products:

Inspiration 6 - gr_7_sample_plan_insp6.ins
Inspiration 7 - gr_7_sample_plan_insp7.isf
PowerPoint - gr_7_data_project_sample.ppt
Acrobat Reader - gr_7_data_project_sample.pdf

Logistics (organization, grouping, management issues, access to technology)

This type of assignment works well as a collaborative project. Groups could have 2, 3, or 4 students, depending on the classroom situation and the availability of technology. Groups should have clear instructions on their tasks and the role each member is expected to carry out. In selecting members of groups, teachers should try to combine students so that groups include various members with a variety of skills and knowledge. Ideally, each group should include at least one member with a good grasp of the mathematical concepts; a member with technological skills; a member with creative ideas; and someone with organizational ability.

Managing classroom activities where students are working on their own products, and combining work on the computer with tasks done away from the machines can be challenging. In a classroom, with three or four computers, these tasks require careful scheduling; each machine might be turned into a centre for use for a specific purpose. For example, one computer may be designated the “Research computer” and students go to that machine to look up information or collect data. A computer lab is not always appropriate or accessible, and various strategies, such as creating activity centres or scheduling of computer time for each group, should be considered in planning this project. Much of the work – planning the presentation, organizing the data, any hand-done data displays – can be done “off-line” and students can work on these tasks without access to a computer.

Students need to be aware of Canadian copyright laws. Here are some suggestions for ensuring that materials used in the presentations comply with copyright:

  1. use the clip media (sounds, images, etc) that are provided as part of their software application
  2. access “copyright-cleared” materials, e.g., images available through the ImagesProject (http://imagesproject.ednet.ns.ca/) for use in the project
  3. create your own images and/or sounds for use in the project
  4. ask permission of the copyright holder of a piece of media. This should be done in writing (such as an e-mail) and the permission should be saved and kept with the project. Any restrictions on the permission granted must be followed.

Assessment information (e.g., rubrics for products and/or process)

The complete set of files is available at:

gr_7_remembering_all.pdf   (pdf format)

See sample rubrics:

Individual Self Assessment for group project: (Word format) (pdf format)
Planning with Inspiration: (Word format) (pdf format)
Presentation Rubric: (Word format) (pdf format)
Project Scoring Rubric (Word format) (pdf format)

Possible extensions

There are many possibilities for extension and connection with other curriculum areas.

For World War I: Why did the percentage of officers to all ranks increase dramatically in 1919? What connections could be made between the changes in the numbers of the military AFTER November 1918 and the influenza pandemic? What was happening in Canada during various years of the war? Did these events affect the numbers for those years?

For other conflicts: Is there information similar to that provided for World War I? Has there been a change in the percentage of officers to all ranks over the last century? What has changed because of the increase in technological capabilities?

For the present day: Is there information about the percentage of military members from each province? Would these percentages reflect the populations of the various provinces and territories?

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