Grade Levels: 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, 9th Grade, 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade,
Topics: AlgebraCoordinate SystemsLinear Equations and Functions
Common Core State Standard: 6.EE.9, 8.EE.5, 8.EE.7b, 8.F.3, 8.SP.1, 8.SP.2, 8.SP.3, A-CED.2, A-REI.3, A-REI.10, S-ID.6,
Knowledge and Skills:

· Can plot a point in a two-dimensional coordinate system, given the coordinates, or determine the coordinates of a given point
· Can extrapolate a graph when a pattern exists
· Can use a functional relationship to predict the value of one variable when the other is known
· Can determine the equation of a linear function that closely matches a set of points
· Can solve a one-variable linear equation

Download the Teacher Guide PDF

Procedure: This activity is best done by students individually or in teams of two.

When they graph the data, they will need to determine what the variables are (year, amount of rice produced), and which is independent (year) and which is dependent (rice)


The line above represents a good fit to the given data in the domain of 1959 to 1999; its equation is:

y = 3670x – 7,130,810

Solving this equation for x = 2004 gives 223,870 hundreds of pounds of rice.

Solving for x = 2005 gives 242,200 hundreds of pounds of rice.

Solving for y = 250,000 gives the year 2011.


Rice Production


The table below shows how much rice has produced in the United States, every 5th year for the past 100 years.

Year Hundreds of pounds of rice produced
1899 4,029
1904 8,647
1909 10,614
1914 10,565
1919 19,310
1924 14,689
1929 17,790
1934 17,571
1939 24,328
1944 30,974
1949 40,769
1959 53,647
1954 64,193
1964 73,166
1969 91,904
1974 112,386
1979 131,947
1984 138,810
1989 154,487
1994 197,779
1999 210,458


Can you use this data to predict how much rice might be produced in the years 2004 and 2009? Can you predict in what year rice production will reach 250,000?

Here is one approach:

1. Graph the above data.

2. See if there is a pattern to the data. Extend the pattern to estimate the number of pounds of rice that would be produced in the year 2004.

_________ hundreds of pounds

3. Extend the pattern further to estimate the number of pounds of rice that would be produced in the year 2009.

_________ hundreds of pounds

4. Extend the pattern further to find the year for which the amount of rice produced is 250,000.


If you know enough algebra, you can find a more exact answer by using equations, as follows:

1. Look at the data on the graph from 1959 to 1999. These points nearly all line up on a straight line.

2. Draw in a line that comes closest to the data points, and find its equation.

3. Use that equation to predict the production of rice in 2004 and 2009.

2004: __________

2009: __________

4. Use that equation to find in which year you would expect rice production to be 250,000 hundreds of pounds.