## Statistical Questions

## Opening

# Statistical Questions

Think about these questions:

- When you think of a typical sixth grade student, who comes to mind?
- What characteristics does he or she have?

Think about these questions:

- When you think of a typical sixth grade student, who comes to mind?
- What characteristics does he or she have?

Create a list of statistical questions about the characteristics of a typical sixth grade student.

What characteristics does a typical sixth grade student have?

- Make a list of statistical questions that can be answered with numerical data to help you answer the question above.

What numbers could you use to describe the habits of sixth graders—such as the number of text messages sent per day, number of hours spent watching television per week, number of books read per month, and so on?

What is the typical arm span of a sixth grade student?

- Think about how this question could be answered.

Choose several questions you wrote in Task 3.

- What is the set (or range) of possible answers for each question?
- What number in each range do you think reflects a typical sixth grader?

- The arm span of a sixth grade student varies, but the answer to this question is a single number.
- How could you collect data to answer this question?
- How would you do the measurements?
- How could you use the data you collected to determine a single, typical arm span?

During the class discussion, take notes about interesting statistical questions that other students present.

As your classmates present, ask questions such as:

- Will the question help us find out something about a typical sixth grade student?
- Are the answers numerical?
- Will the answers vary?
- Is the wording of the question clear? Could respondents be confused or interpret it in different ways?

- Summarize what you learned about asking statistical questions to determine the characteristics of a typical sixth grade student.

Check your summary.

- Did you say that we can ask statistical questions to investigate what is typical?
- Did you explain what a statistical question is, including the notion of variability of data?
- Did you give examples of questions that can be answered by collecting and analyzing numerical data?
- Did you discuss different ways of describing the typical arm span of the students in your class?

Write a reflection about the ideas discussed in class today. Use this sentence starter below if you find it to be helpful.

**Living in a world with no variability, where everyone was the same, would be like …**