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integrated computational thinking


In this lesson, learners explore mass incarceration in America using data visualizations. Learners will apply data practices to create their own visualization to illustrate a claim about the prison system. (estimated 45 min)

Learning Objectives

By the end of this activity, learners will be able to...

    • Read and utilize data visualizations to explore social, historical, political, or economic phenomena related to incarceration in the United States
    • Make specific claims about mass incarceration and inequality in the American prison system
    • Create their own visualization using a data visualization tool, such as Excel or Google Sheets


  • Patterns: Repeating similarities among objects, ideas, and problems
  • Data: Quantitative or qualitative information (e.g., text, symbols, etc.) collected for analysis
  • Data visualization: The graphical representation of information and data
  • Mass incarceration: The current American experiment in incarceration, which is defined by comparatively and historically extreme rates of imprisonment and by the concentration of imprisonment among young, African American men living in neighborhoods of concentrated disadvantage - Oxford Bibliographies

    Materials and Resources


    • Learners will demonstrate mastery of knowledge in this activity by generating a data visualization that illustrates a specific aspect of mass incarceration using specific facts from the provided materials.