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Concordia Online Education
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Concordia Online Education

High School: Introduction to Statistics


Common Core, Math  


10, 11, 12  

In this lesson, students will be introduced to core concepts of statistics as they learn about each other by collecting information about their summer vacation. Students will also develop skills that they will use to effectively work in groups.


Students will collect data related to their summer vacations, and work in groups to interpret and visually represent the data for different audiences (i.e. parents, students, etc).


CCSS.Math.Content.HSS-ID.A.1 Represent data with plots on the real number line.


Students will collect and analyze data.

Students will represent data collected using a variety of visual models (histogram, pie chart, etc).

 Materials Summer Survey (1 copy per student)

1 piece of large paper for each group of students

Drawing supplies (colored pencils, rulers, etc)

 Mini-Lesson (10 minutes)

Explain that during the year, you are going to work on improving your statistics skills. Statisticians are people who collect and use data to understand the world.

  •  Have students take notes on key statistics terms that they will use in today’s lesson.
  • Sample Size: The total number of people in the data set (i.e. the number of people that you surveyed).
  • Measure of Central Tendency: Measures that tell us the approximate middle of a data set, for example, mean, median and mode.
  • Normal Distribution: A normal distribution is when data creates a normal curve (i.e. a bell curve) with 50% above the center, 50% below the center, etc.
  • Outlier: An outlier is a data point that falls far outside the norm.

 Data Collection (5 minutes)

Have students collect data on the summer survey from 6-12 of their peers.

Data Review and Synthesis (20 minutes)

Have students work in small groups to synthesize, analyze, and represent their data set. Remind students not to represent the same students more than once. Also, remind students to consider the type of information they are representing (i.e. numbers vs. yes or no responses) in their representation. Students must include an analysis of each question, and information about their sample size, central tendency (when appropriate), and any outliers.

 Data Presentation (10 minutes)

Have students present their findings to the class.

 Reflection and Discussion (10 minutes)

As a class, have students write a reflection on the questions:

  • What was challenging about collecting and analyzing this data?
  • What did you learn about data collection?
  • What did you learn about how you work in a group?

Then, have students share and discuss their ideas.

 Extension Activities

Use the Internet to research what teens typically do during the summer. Then, compare it to your analysis. Is your class or sample typical? How?

Use the summer survey to collect information from more students in your school. Then, analyze the data. How does changing the sample size impact the results and conclusions?

Use the summer survey to collect information from more people in your community (younger siblings, parents, etc). Then, compile and analyze the data. How does having a larger distribution of ages impact the results and conclusions?


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