Statistical Studies

6 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


For a given statistical study, students will be able to determine the population, appropriate sampling methods, and study type.

Big Idea

Class generated scenarios provide the context for discussions about statistical population, sample, and type of study.

Warm Up and Homework Review

10 minutes

I include Warm ups with a Rubric as part of my daily routine. My goal is to allow students to work on Math Practice 3 each day. Grouping students into homogeneous pairs provides an opportunity for appropriately differentiated math conversations. This lesson’s Warm Up- Types of Statistical Studies asks students to determine whether a sample is appropriate for a statistical scenario.  The goal is to create conversations and get students thinking about some of the ideas that will be discussed during the lesson. 

I also use this time to correct and record the previous day's Homework.  

Statistical Studies Introduction

30 minutes

We begin this lesson with a scenario: 

The school newspaper has asked you to write a regular article using data gathered that will interest the students at Vallivue High School.

For example, how many students in Idaho leave the state to go to college.

Or, how many students eat breakfast at school. 

I have the students brainstorm ideas in pairs and then pick their two favorite to write on a note card.  I will use these note cards later for the homework assignment.  Please watch my Video Narrative for information on using student generated questions.

We then look at the three types of statistical studies.  I have provided a copy of these definitions to save time during the note taking process.  I ask the students to paste these on the left side of their notes.  Once we have discussed each type, experiment, observational study, and survey, I have the students brainstorm potential strengths and weaknesses(Math Practice 5) which is placed on the right side of their notes next to each definition.  

Next, I ask them to identify which statistical study is best to find the number of students at Vallivue who sleep in class?  I then ask them whether it would be feasible to reach every student at Vallivue.  This leads to a discussion on sampling.  I pass out a second round of definitions.  

Please keep in mind that this is a basic introduction.  A more involved introduction would take more days than I have time for this year.  In future years, as the transition to common core takes place, I will extend this introduction.


10 minutes

I take the note cards the students wrote and choose 5 or 6 that offer a variety of study types and populations.  I write them on the board and tell the students that these will be the problems for the assignment.  

For each scenario:

a) Explain which type of study, an experiment, an observational study, or a survey would be best and why.

b) Describe the population.  Is it possible to get information from the entire population?  If not, how would you get a sample?  Please use complete sentences.

Pick two scenarios and describe how a biased sample could create misleading results.

This lesson helps students get familiar with the terms and vocabulary at a deeper level than just recall (Math Practice 2).