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Lesson Plans
Qualitative and Quantitative Data
Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers for Students


A critical part of any scientific experiment is collecting and analyzing data (as seen in the WHAT'S UP IN THE ENVIRONMENT? Web site, long-term projects). In this lesson, students learn first-hand about the strengths and weakness of qualitative and quantitative data by gathering and analyzing data collected from a classroom poll. Using what they’ve learned, students design and conduct a poll of their own. As an assessment piece, students can use what they’ve learned to teach their peers about qualitative and quantitative data, or stage a debate over the merits of qualitative versus quantitative data.

Grade Level:
Grades 6-8

Time Allotment:
6-7 class periods

Subject Matter:
Science, Social Science, Math

Learning Objectives



Students will be able to:

  • Understand the difference between quantifiable and qualitative data.
  • Use a qualitative or quantitative data collection method, or combination of both, based on the type of information they collect.
  • Create and use strategies to promote valid data collection.
  • Use what they learned to design conduct a poll.

Standards

Mathematics Standard 6: Understands and applies basic and advanced concepts of statistics and data analysis
http://www.mcrel.org/compendium/Benchmark.asp?SubjectID=21& StandardID=6
Level 3 (Grade 6-8)
Uses data and statistical measures for a variety of purposes (e.g., formulating hypotheses, making predictions, testing conjectures).

Science Standard 11: Understands the nature of scientific knowledge
http://www.mcrel.org/compendium/Benchmark.asp?SubjectID=2& StandardID=11
Level 3 (Grade 6-8)
Knows that an experiment must be repeated many times and yield consistent results before the results are accepted as correct.

Thinking and Reasoning Standard and Benchmarks Standard 3: Effectively uses mental processes that are based on identifying similarities and differences
http://www.mcrel.org/compendium/Benchmark.asp?SubjectID=21& StandardID=3
Level 3 (Grade 6-8)
Selects criteria or rules for category membership that are relevant and important.

This lesson was prepared by Suzanne Furlong.