Kellie Sims Butler

Ph.D Candidate, Political Science

Rice University


Curriculum: Probability and Statistics - Data Analysis
Subject: Social Science/Political Science
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Mathematics

Data Analysis, Probability, and Statistics: The students use representational tools to display and present statistical data. The students also analyze and interpret this data.

Learning Objective Given statistical data in a spreadsheet, the students will analyze, display, describe, and interpret data using a representational tool. The students will also be expected to make predictions and conclusions using the statistical data based on how the data is presented in the representational tool (e.g. pie chart, histogram, line graph, scatter plot, etc.).
Grade Level: 6-8

Software: Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel

Weblinks: Illuminations Principles and Standards in School Mathematics

Fun Math by Cynthia Lanius: Let's Graph

Suzanne's Mathematics Lessons: Data Analysis and Probability


Gain Attention: Have the students to find 3 examples of graphs, charts, and plots using newspapers, news magazines, or an Internet computer search.

Inform of Objective: Today you will build from the Super Spreadsheets lesson to create your own graphs, charts, plots, and histograms. This will be a very fun and interactive exercise. You will enjoy learning it.

Prior Knowledge: Students should build on their prior experiences in the elementary grades analyzing and organizing data.

Present Lesson: Part I: Present 3 examples of your own and discuss the chosen representational tool and also discuss if another representational tool would also be appropriate, and if changing the representational tool would also change the interpretation of the data.

Part II: Use software and use all resources as needed to insure students' comprehension.

Guided Practice Activity: Part I: Using their three examples, have the students to discuss how the representational tools are used to present the data, and if another type of representational tool would also be appropriate for displaying the data. Lastly, have the students to interpret the data displayed in their examples.

Part II: Using the software and data taken from the spreadsheet created in the Super Spreadsheets lesson, let the students create their own chart, graph, or histogram. Be sure that the students understand that some representational tools are more appropriate for certain types of data. Teacher circulates to give the students assistance and feedback. Students who need to work independently may do so.

Summary: Remind the students that they have just learned how to organize and display statistical data using a representational tool. Link their learning of this new skill to the various uses of the different representational tools that they discussed earlier with their 3 examples.

Assessment: Using a rubric, make sure that all of the students understand how to create a representational tool and understand how to appropriately use a representational tool to display data. Let the students experiment with different ways to display the data (e.g., pie chart, line graph, histogram, etc.). Also make sure that the students understand how to interpret the representational tools and how to make predictions and draw conclusions from the displayed data.






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These pages were made through TeacherTECH, the teacher professional development component of GirlTECH, which is sponsored by the Center for Excellence and Equity in Education (CEEE) with support from the National Science Foundation through EOT-PACI, RGK Foundation, the Verizon Foundation, Rice University, and HiPerSoft.

Copyright June 2002 by Kellie Butler.