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 create a spreadsheet consisting of statistical data, and use statistical representations to analyze this data.

Learning Objective Given statistical data, the student will analyze, display, describe, and interpret data. The student will also be expected to make predictions and conclusions using the statistical data.
Grade Level: 6-8

Software: Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel

Weblinks: Fun Fact States

50 States: States and Capitals

Global Computing American States Map and State Home Page Links

Infoplease United States Information Source

Sources: Statehouse Democracy: Public Opinion and Policy in the American States (1993)

Politics in the American States: Comparative Analysis, 7th Edition. (1999)

"New Perspectives for the Comparative Study of the Judiciary: The State Supreme Court Project," The Justice Systems Journal 22(3): 243-262. (2001)

A Comparative Institutional Analysis of Agenda Setting and Redistributive Issues: A View from the Fifty States, an unpublished dissertation draft. (2002)




Gain Attention: Show pictures of unorganized data and show how the author's organize and present the data using spreadsheets.

Inform of Objective: Today we will learn about data analysis. This may sound like a complicated topic, but as we progress through the lesson, you will realize that it is a very simple concept to learn. In fact, throughout your day to day interactions you observe, analyze, and interpret data.

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

Present Lesson: Using software and using all resources as needed to insure students' comprehension. Present examples of unorganized data and show how spreadsheets help to organize and display data in a more "user-friendly" format.

Guided Practice Activity: Using the software and data taken from the Fun Fact States website, in small groups, the students create a spreadsheet (on paper or on the computer) that organizes the data in a spreadsheet. Make sure that the students understand how the data should be stored in the rows and columns. 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 organized statistical data using a spreadsheet. Tell them that in the next lesson they will learn how to display the data in the spreadsheet using a representational tool (e.g., pie chart, histogram, etc.).

Assessment: Using a rubric, make sure that all of the students understand how to create a spreadsheet and understand the most appropriate use of a spreadsheet to display data. Let the students experiment with different ways to organize the data in the spreadsheet (e.g., rank order, alphabetized, etc.). Also make sure that the students understand how to interpret the spreadsheet and how to make predictions and draw conclusions from the 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.