each student a set of five unlined index cards and crayons. Ask them to
draw a picture of themselves on the front and to write data about
themselves on the back, such as age, grade, and hobbies.
Demonstrate how to pitch the cards from a set distance to the wall, as well as how to measure distances with a meter stick.
Divide the students into small groups. Distribute a copy of the Pitching Cards Activity Sheet to each student.
Pitching Cards Activity Sheet
Guide the students as they take five turns each, recording the
distance from the wall to each card pitched. Remind students to try to
use the same force when pitching each card, so the results of their
experiments will be more accurate. Students should record their data on
the table on the Pitching Cards Activity Sheet.
Ask the students to order their distance data from least to greatest.
Demonstrate how to determine the median, or middle, score. Ask
students what would happen to the median if we had ordered the data
from greatest to least, instead of least to greatest. Students should
respond that the median will not change.
Ask students how they will find the range. Students should
respond that they can subtract the smallest data value from the largest
data value to find the range.
Discuss the completed activity sheets. Ask students to make
observations about their tables in question #1. You may wish to pose
questions such as:
- Did any of your data values repeat? (For example, did 5 cm appear in your table more than once?)
- Was all of your data close together, or was it spread out?
- Other than a table, what's another way you could record your
data? (Students may suggest conducting more trials and then creating a
graph to display the data.
If there is enough time, you may wish to ask students to conduct
more trials to obtain more data. Depending upon their experiences with
graphing data, you may wish to ask students to go to the Box Plotter Tool.
Box Plotter Tool
Using this tool, students can enter their data and create a box plot of the data collected in this lesson.
- Silverman, Helene. "IDEAS: Games, Measurement, and Statistics." The Arithmetic Teacher. April, 1990, pp. 27 - 32.
- Hindman, Darwin A. Kick the Can and Over 800 Other Active Games and Sports for All Ages. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1956.