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        Describing Range and Measures of Central Tendency in Shoe Sizes

        Students are introduced to various measures of central tendency (range, mode, median, and mean) and they explore the advantages and disadvantages of each measure. 

        Lesson Summary


        In this Cyberchase activity, Bianca uses recorded data to help her decide how many boxes of shoes she should order. Using the same data set, students are introduced to the concepts of range, mode, median, and mean and the advantages and disadvantages of each in describing central tendency.

        Grade Level:


        Suggested Time

        1 hour

        Media Resources

        Restocking Shoes QuickTime Video


        Describing Data Sets handout
        Assessment: Level A
        Assessment: Level B
        Answer Key

        The Lesson

        Part I: Learning Activity

        1. Read the following to your students: "Bianca is working in a shoestore and is asked to stock a new line of shoes. She studies the data of previous sales and bases her new order on this data. In the video segment, watch how Bianca figures out what quantity of shoes to order."

        2. Play the Restocking Shoes QuickTime Video .

        3. Discuss how Bianca determined how many shoes to order. Ask students if they would have gone about it in the same way. Ask them what they would have done differently.

        4. Distribute the Describing Data Sets handout .

        5. Ask the students to complete the handout.

        6. Discuss the handout. Pay particular attention to students' understanding of the definition of range, as well as the distinctions among mean, median and mode. Discuss the different kinds of situations in which it would be most useful to know the median, mean or mode. 

        Part II: Assessment

        Assessment: Level A (proficiency): Students practice calculating mean, median and mode for a small set of data collected in tables and bar graphs.

        Assessment: Level B (above proficiency): Students calculate mean, median and mode for a large data set represented in a bar graph.


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