Distributions and Variability
Type of Unit: Project
Students should be able to:
Represent and interpret data using a line plot.
Understand other visual representations of data.
Students begin the unit by discussing what constitutes a statistical question. In order to answer statistical questions, data must be gathered in a consistent and accurate manner and then analyzed using appropriate tools.
Students learn different tools for analyzing data, including:
Measures of center: mean (average), median, mode
Measures of spread: mean absolute deviation, lower and upper extremes, lower and upper quartile, interquartile range
Visual representations: line plot, box plot, histogram
These tools are compared and contrasted to better understand the benefits and limitations of each. Analyzing different data sets using these tools will develop an understanding for which ones are the most appropriate to interpret the given data.
To demonstrate their understanding of the concepts, students will work on a project for the duration of the unit. The project will involve identifying an appropriate statistical question, collecting data, analyzing data, and presenting the results. It will serve as the final assessment.
Students make a box plot for their typical-sixth-grader data from Lesson 7 and write a summary of what the plot shows.Using the line plot from Lesson 4, students construct a box plot. Students learn how to calculate the five-number summary and interquartile range (IQR). Students apply this knowledge to the data used in Lesson 7 and describe the data in terms of the box plot. Class discussion focuses on comparing the two graphs and what they show for the sets of data.Key ConceptsA box-and-whisker plot, or box plot, shows the spread of a set of data. It shows five key measures, called the five-number summary.Lower extreme: The smallest value in the data setLower quartile: The middle of the lower half of the data, and the value that 25% of the data fall belowMedian: The middle of the data setUpper quartile: The middle of the upper half of the data, and the value that 25% of the data are aboveUpper extreme: The greatest value in the data setThis diagram shows how these values relate to the parts of a box plot.The length of the box represents the interquartile range (IQR), which is the difference between the lower and upper quartile.A box plot divides the data into four equal parts. One quarter of the data is represented by the left whisker, two quarters by each half of the box, and one quarter by the right whisker. If one of these parts is long, the data in that quarter are spread out. If one of these quarters is short, the data in that quarter are clustered together.Goals and Learning ObjectivesLearn how to construct box plots, another tool to describe data.Learn about the five-number summary, interquartile range, and how they are related to box plots.Compare a line plot and box plot for the same set of data.