This unit will take approximately 3-4 weeks to complete.This unit was created to give students a hands-on experience when learning and exploring data analysis.

About the Unit: Problem solving in an important focal point in the mathematics curriculum. Students can learn problem-solving strategies by working and learning with their peers, as well as becoming engaged in meaningful discourse in small and large group experiences. Getting students to attempt different processes and strategies to solve problems with increase their problem solving skills.

Links to research: Uslick & Barr (2001) state: “children learn best by doing activities that they enjoy” (p. 392). In this unit, students will be given several opportunities to collect, represent, and analyze data. It is important that students experience how statistics are produced, the different ways they are displayed, and what kind of information can be understood from analyzing graphs, such as single and double bar graphs. Capraro et al. (2005) affirm that “students should have many experiences in making data tables and graphs, as well as using them to describe a variety of patterns and relationships” (p. 165).

Graphing is visual way of presenting information. An excellent way of explaining the use and importance of graphs is verified by Capraro et al. (2005): “The purposes for graphing lie in the conveyance of numerical data in a visual form…and in conveying to the reader the patterns and/or irregularities present in the data that may or not be evident in the table form" (p. 165).

One goal for this unit is for students to understand double bar graphs, its purpose and use, as well as to determine when a double bar graph is best utilized. Capraro et al. explain that “One of the most important decisions for students to make in the construction of a graph is determining which visual method should be used to answer the question presented” (p. 165). By providing the students with multiple experiences and examples of when to use and not to use double bar graphs then they will grasp a better understanding of the model and be able to apply their learning when given a problem to represent data that compares two variables (e.g. boys versus girls). Capraro et al. describe how students will choose a graph to display specific data without knowing the rationale behind the graph or how the audience with perceive graph. “Most students constructed the graph that was most familiar to them or their favorite, with little notion of its use or interpretability for the task at hand” (p. 169).

Collection Contents


This is an introduction to the Data Analysis Unit. About the Unit: Problem solving in an important focal point in the mathematics curriculum. Students can learn problem-solving strategies by working and learning with their peers, as well as becoming engaged in meaningful discourse in small and large group experiences. Getting students to attempt different processes and strategies to solve problems with increase their problem solving skills.
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This is the first lesson in the Data Analysis Unit. Lesson #1: beanbag Skee-ball Adapted from Uslick, J., & Barr, S. G. (2001). Children play mathematics at Camp Invention. Teaching Children Mathematics, 7(7), 392-94.
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Students will be engaged in a Four-Corner Debate (Wilhelm, Wilhelm, & Boas, E. (2009).This strategy gets students thinking and reasoning about a specific topic or question. It also helps students to broaden their thinking by hearing different perspectives and opinions other than their own.
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Now that students have had practice conducting an experiment, having to do with the game, Skee-Ball, and whether or not their statistics conclude the notion – “practice makes perfect” - students will now be challenged to create their own topic/question, experiment, data collection methods, and display their data through a double-bar graph.
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Part of this lesson has to do with creating a “Wordle.” Wordle is a free online tool used for creating “word clouds” from text that you provide/input. The clouds (i.e. brainstorm) give greater emphasis to words that appear more frequently in the source text. As a user, you can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. You can print them out, or save them to your own documents to share with your students, staff, or parents. Visit http://www.wordle.net/ to get started! (See "For Teachers" folder for direct link). Note: Before teaching this lesson, it is important that students have knowledge of a variety of graphs and how/when they might be used to display data.
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Here is a folder for teachers that contains materials for lessons in this unit on Data Analysis.
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Here you will find student-facing content that correlate with specific lessons in this unit.
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