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Lesson Plans
Data, Data, Everywhere… and What Am I To Think?

Nancy N. Miller
OverviewProcedure for teachersStudent Resources and Materials
Grade Level
Time Alloment
 Four 50-minute class periods


In this world of ever-increasing information our students must learn to collect, analyze, and interpret data for practical application and problem solving. This lesson unit is designed to streamline the introduction of several graphical organizers and how to use them most effectively. The students will visit Internet sites to learn of new data presentation modes and how to interpret various types of data.

Learning Activities

Students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate good random sampling techniques for data collection
  • Select and develop graphic presentations of data
  • Analyze the data to solve a problem presented


New York State Standards
  • Students will use mathematical analysis, scientific inquiry, and engineering design, as appropriate, to pose questions, seek answers, and develop solutions.
  • Students will access, generate, process, and transfer information using appropriate technologies.
  • Students will apply technological knowledge and skills to design and construct, use, and evaluate products and systems to satisfy human and environmental needs.
  • Students will understand the relationships and common themes that connect mathematics, science, and technology and apply the themes to these and other areas of learning.
  • Students will apply the knowledge and thinking skills of mathematics, science, and technology to address real-life problems and make informed decisions.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Standards

Students will be able to:

  • Understand patterns, relations, and functions
  • Formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize, and display relevant data to answer them
  • Select and use appropriate statistical methods to analyze data
  • Develop and evaluate inferences and predictions that are based on data

Media Components


Math Vantage: Data Analysis #1, How Do You Get It?

Math Vantage: Data Analysis #2, How Do You Show It?

Math Vantage: Data Analysis #3, What Does It Mean?

Web Sites:

Mean, Median, and Mode statistics/ch03/0301/main.htm

This page deals with making sense of data in statistical terms. The concepts of mean, median, and mode are introduced to the students.

Frequency Tables statistics/ch03/0302/main.htm

This page is used to teach setup and use of frequency tables for statistical analysis.

Histograms statistics/ch03/0303/main.htm

The use of bar graphs is illustrated on this page. Students are exposed to a number of different versions of histograms.

Stem and Leaf Plots statistics/ch03/0304/main.htm

Stem and leaf plot development and use are introduced on this Web page.

Line Graphs statistics/ch03/0305/main.htm

Line graphs and their use in data interpolation and/or extrapolation are found on this page.

Circle Graphs statistics/ch03/0306/main.htm

Pie charts or circle graphs are shown to illustrate the organization of data by percent of the whole.

Box and Whisker Plots statistics/ch03/0307/main.htm

The use of this type of graphic organizer to summarize large amounts of data is shown on the site.


For each student:

  • 1 small snack size package of Skittles or M&M candies
  • One copy of each activity handout
For each lab pair:
  • One computer terminal
  • The use of a spreadsheet and graphing program such as Microsoft Excel
  • One floppy diskette