Analyzing Box and Whisker Plots in a Real World Context

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SWBAT Analyze Box and Whisker Plots using Real World Examples.

Big Idea

For students to apply their skills analyzing Box Plots using Center, Spread, and Shape in a context of a problem.

Warm Up

10 minutes

I begin this lesson with a Warm Up.  I expect the Warm Up to take about 10 minutes for the students to complete and for me to review with the class.  In the Warm Up, I provide students with a Box Plot about the amount of honey found in different Bee Hives.

Students are given the Box Plot, but I do not provide the original set of data.  Students have to create a possible list of 7 values that could have been used to create the Box Plot.  Student answers may vary.  

Students then have to identify the 5-point summary from the Box Plot. Finally, students have to identify if there are any outliers in their data set.  Students should use the Interquartile Range and the 1.5 rule to verify if any numbers in the data set are outliers.

Partner Activity

30 minutes

After reviewing the Warm Up with the students, I provide each student with a Box Plot Activity from Laying the Foundations website listed below.

The purpose of this lesson is for students to see how Box Plots represent data in real world applications.  For this lesson, I only have table Partners work through page one and page two of this activity due to time constraints.  

This activity is about Cargo Space of minivans in 2002.  It is important for Karma's family to select a minivan with the maximum amount of Cargo Space to carry Karma's bikes.  This is an example that shows students how the Box Plot is a nice visual summary of the data.

Students have to create the Box Plot using the Cargo Space Data, and one mistake students make is that they think the table is two sets of data because it has two columns.  The teacher should specify that the table represents one set of data.

After creating the Box Plot, students then have to read and interpret the Box Plot to answer the questions. 


Exit Slip

10 minutes

As students complete the Partner Activity from Laying the Foundations, I hand each student an Exit Slip.  Students should complete the Exit Slip before leaving class.  I use it as a quick formative assessment to check for student understanding.

In this Exit Slip, I do not ask students to describe the Box Plot by Center, Spread, and Shape, but more to interpret the context of the Box Plot given.  That is my goal for this lesson, that students come more familiar with Box Plots summarizing real world problems visually. 

One of the mistakes that students make is thinking that each individual data point is represented in the Box Plot.  Students should use percentages of the sample of CD's to answer questions e and f.