Statistics - Opening Activities and Discussion

6 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


Students will be able to compare their own definitions of statistics to a formal “textbook” definition. They will extend and debate aspects under the wide umbrella of statistical thinking.

Big Idea

Statistically speaking, this lesson HOOKS KIDS 100% of the time!

Opening Activity

10 minutes

As the students enter, I have the opening slide of the PowerPoint displayed.  We will be using the website throughout the course of this year.  Teachers create the poll on this website and the students respond to the poll via and the poll’s appropriate response code.  It is a really useful way to get all students engaged at the start of class!  The anonymous nature of the poll also provides comfort to students who would otherwise not participate in a discussion.  

Formal Definition/Debate

20 minutes

What good is the study of statistics?

10 minutes

This closing piece of the lesson is primarily teacher driven ENGAGING lecture.  Rather than elaborate on all of the details, I have attached a video that I model my lecture off of.  I think that you will find this much more beneficial me trying to put into words the “flow” of my lecture. 

Things that I like about the flow of this discussion, and emulate in my own:

#1 The microscope analogy:  This really resonates with kids and shows that statistics is much broader than a collection of numbers, it is a macroscopic view of something very large.

#2 Specific examples of statistics used in decision making:  Older Population Concentration = More Hospitals.   Younger Population Concentration = More Schools.  ALL POSSIBLE THROUGH STATISTICS!

 Again, this video accurately models the flow and tone of my concluding lecture.  I feel as though it really hooks the kids to want to learn even more!  If you like the video better than talking yourself, I would encourage you to consider using it directly and finishing with a short class discussion.