Module 11 Handling Data

Handling Data - Teacher Notes

Solvemymaths has produced pages like this for lots of topics



Generating Data Practically – Click here

Blog on Scatter Graphs



Data:  These activities on Haircut Costs and Speed Trap focus on comparing box plots.  Describing Data Sets with Outliers and Identifying Outliers are about outliers and skewness in data (see a related post on teaching skewness).


Median and Quartiles


Box Plots

This idea (inspired by this post) involves paper aeroplanes. You’ll need a big space for this - the school hall or playground. Tape (or draw in chalk) a long scale on the floor. Have each of your pupils make a paper aeroplane, write their name on it, and throw it from the start of the scale. Leave the aeroplanes where they land. Once all pupils have thrown their aeroplane, you can draw or tape a box plot on the floor around the planes to represent the distance flown. Pupils will be able to see which quartile their plane landed in. Hopefully one future engineer will throw an amazing outlier which will make a good discussion point! You could even split the class in half and do two box plots on the floor side by side, then the class could discuss which team had better aeroplanes and which team’s planes were more consistent.


There’s surprisingly few good box plot resources online. But Don Steward never lets us down. His website has a number of box plot activities, my favourite of which is this true or false activity. 



I also like the activity below from

Party Box Plots

Discuss the ages of guests at different types of party, to help them understand the concept of spread. For example you could ask them to draw a box plot representing the ages of guests at an 18th birthday party, a wedding, a child’s party etcThese ideas taken from Jo's blog - Click here for other ideas and links on Box Plots








Be aware of Summary Statistics - Median

Scatter Graphs

The teacher selects two walls of the room to be the axes and asks the pupils to stand in a position in the room that represents their data.  There are no scales on the axes, so there needs to be some discussion as to the range on each of the axes - Click here for Source


Spurious Correlations (Correlation does not imply Causation) - Click here


Averages and Spread
[Thanks to Jo @mathsjam]

Girls are Better at Maths? -

Averages Puzzle -

Wiped out - Median Don Steward

Two poems - Median Don Steward

Lots of excellent resources from Teachit Maths

Averages Top Trumps - JustMaths

Mean, Median, Mode and Range - Maths Assessment Project (activities at the back)


Inquiry Prompt – Click here
There is no set of data that fulfils this condition: median > mode > mean > range.


Mean Challenge


Averages Challenge

Scatter Graphs
[Thanks to Jo @mathsjam]

Ideas and resources in my blog post on scatter graphs

Simple scatter graph worksheet - t0md3an on TES

'Bee aware' activity - Median Don Steward

Scatter graph questions - Median Don Steward

Scatter graph hat-trick - Teachit Maths

Scatter graph investigation - Teachit Maths

Lots of crazy correlations to discuss - take part in their polls - Click here

Possible or Impossible

For full document with additional ideas - Click here


Representing data
[Thanks to Jo @mathsjam]

Ideas and resources in my blog post on stem and leaf plots

Ideas and resources in my blog post on box plots

First names and surnames (pie charts) - Teachit Maths

Pie Chart Puzzles - Churchill Maths

Simple pie chart worksheet -

Simple stem and leaf worksheet 

Cumulative frequency questions - Median Don Steward

Cumulative frequency worksheet -

Olympic Weights - NCETM

Histogram lesson and activities - alutwyche on TES


Sampling and Surveys
[Thanks to Jo @mathsjam]

Paddy Paws, Nisbett and the parrot (data collection sheet design) - Teachit Maths

My classmates - Teachit Maths

Probably the worst survey in the world 

Interactive biased question sort -

Common mistakes survey - The Chalk Face  (& accompanying PowerPoint)

Prezi slideshow 'Sampling' - to generate discussion about sampling methods (by me!) 

Types of data - The Chalk Face

Data types and sampling methods - Teachit Maths

Data collection and sampling revision cards - Teachit Maths

Parking Permits (stratified sampling) - student sheet, notes, slides - Nuffield Foundation