Lesson: Categorical/Numerical Data

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Lesson Objective

SWBAT categorize questions as numerical or categorical.

Lesson Plan


6DASP.1 – Describe and compare data sets using the concepts of median, mean, mode , maximum, and range.


Key Points

SWBAT categorize questions into numerical or categorical data.

·          Categorical questions are those that produce answers that are categories or words

·         Numerical questions are those that produce answers that are numbers.

·         Categorical and numerical data often differ in the way they are organized, analyzed and displayed.


Warm Up: (5 mins)

·         Answer the following questions:

·         How many letters are in your first name?

·         What is your favorite color?

·         How many brothers do you have?

·         What is your favorite school subject?


Opening: (5 mins)

·         Open the unit by explaining that we are going to be looking at the Four step process to approaching data

·         Over the course of the unit we are going to gather data, organize it, analyze it and display it.  We are going to spend a lot of time in the unit focusing on how to analyze data with statistics but today we are going to start by categorizing data and thinking about ways we gather data.

Intro/Direct Instruction: (10 mins)

·         Today we are going to focus on different types of data. 

·         When we ask questions to generate data we usually answer them in one of two ways. 

·         Define categorical and numerical data for students for students notes. 

·         For student notes, draw t-chart for categorical v. numerical. 

·         Think aloud how to tell the difference.  – When I ask a categorical question – I realize that the answers that people would respond with are words or categories.  This is different than when I ask a numerical question.  When I ask a numerical question, I notice that the answers are always numbers. 

·         The reason it is important to know what kind of question we are asking is because it will affect our decisions about how we will organize the data and how we will organize, analyze and display the data later on in our process.

Guided Practice: (5 mins)

·         Students will categorize given questions into categorical or numerical. 

·         Students will be prompted to create categorical and numerical data questions.

Independent Practice: (10 mins)

·         Students complete worksheet – teacher circulates to monitor understanding/practice – or pull a small group of students who struggled during the guided practice


Closing: (8 mins)

·         Review the difference between categorical and numerical questions  



Lesson Resources

CW Categorical Numerical   Classwork
HW Categorical Numerical   Homework
Notes Categorical Numerical   Notes


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