Statistics and Data Analysis

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Essential Questions: 
  • How is information conveyed through statistics?
  • How does the format of the statistic affect the message communicated?
  • How can you critically evaluate statistical information?
  • Definition of: mean, median, mode, range, and outlier; explain how to find each
  • How an outlier may impact the mean
  • When a median or mode might be more accurate or informative than the mean (Bill Gates example)
  • How to talk back to a statistic. What questions should you ask?
  • The difference between a random and biased sample
  • How a graph can be misleading, and how it could be made honest
  • The impact of sample size on statistics
  • Design considerations when developing a survey or gathering data


Skills and Processes: 

*Review decimal arithmetic, especially division and estimation
*Calculate mean, median, mode, and range for a set of data in numerical list and graph forms
*Identify population & sample size
*Calculate the percent of a total and create a pie chart representation
*Review rounding decimal numbers, using a protractor to measure degrees, and fraction-decimal-% conversions
*Extract information from a bar, line, or pie graph, and use it to make decisions
*Create misleading bar, line, and picto- graphs 
*Distinguish between unbiased and biased surveys


Written Test:  
Statistics Survey: Choose a question to investigate, conduct a survey, create honest & misleading graphs; present the results
Graph Evaluation: Find three misleading graphs (newspaper, Internet); describe how it is misleading, how to make it more misleading, & how to make it more truthful


The Sneaker Problem and McDonalds (ranking information and making decisions)
Worksheets on mean, median, mode, outliers, line/bar/pie graphs
How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff
Is Democracy Fair? by Leslie Johnson Nielsen and Michael de Villiers (different voting systems and ways of counting ballots)
USA Today web site Snapshots
Misleading graph images (online and printed)
GraphMaster software for creating line, bar, and pie graphs

Integrated Learning: 

Social Studies and Science examples of misleading and appropriate statistics