Linear Regression and Correlation

This is an activity/Lesson Plan from Shodor on developing a scatterplot and determining the correlation of the data.  This has discussion questions and activities for demonstrating and understanding the correlation coefficient.  This includes handouts and extensions of the activity as well as adaptations for differentiated instruction. This activity gives the needed vocabulary for linear functions and scatterplots. The students will develop a scatterplot and look at the correlation of the data. It explains the correlation coefficient and a has a regression activity. It has handouts included that can be downloaded and printed for the students.

Standards & Objectives

Learning objectives: 


Upon completion of this lesson, students will:

  • have plotted bivariate data onto a scatter plot
  • have seen the line of best fit for several different scatter plots
  • be able to estimate the lines of best fit for data sets
  • be able to estimate the correlation coefficient for data sets

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Differentiation suggestions: 

Alternate Outline:

This lesson can be rearranged in several ways.

  • omit the discussion of the correlation coefficient
  • omit the scatter plot worksheet
  • As a class, before splitting them into groups, have the students plot specific points on the Regression activity and have each of them draw the line of best fit that they imagine. Then, have them select the true line of best fit and see who had the closest estimation.

Helpful Hints

Students will need:

  • Access to a browser
  • Scatter Plot Exploration Questions
  • Graph paper and pencil