D1. Data Literacy:
manage, analyse, and use data to make convincing arguments and informed decisions, in various contexts drawn from real life
describe the difference between discrete and continuous data, and provide examples of each
Provide students with different scenarios that deal with qualitative data and both discrete and continuous quantitative data. Have them sort the scenarios into these three categories and explain their choices.
Reinforce the distinctions between the different types of data on an ongoing basis as students determine which type of data they need in order to answer their questions of interest.
collect qualitative data and discrete and continuous quantitative data to answer questions of interest about a population, and organize the sets of data as appropriate, including using intervals
The Grade 6 students at School F measured the length of their feet and recorded the results in the chart below. Ask students to organize the data in a frequency table. Then have them compare their table with that of another student and answer: What is the same? What is different? Support students in recognizing that the more intervals (bins) that are used, the more spread out the data will be.
Other questions that can be asked about this data set include:
select from among a variety of graphs, including histograms and broken-line graphs, the type of graph best suited to represent various sets of data; display the data in the graphs with proper sources, titles, and labels, and appropriate scales; and justify their choice of graphs
Have students graph the height of two different plants (e.g., a tomato plant and a sunflower plant) weekly for a period of two months. After the data collection is over, ask students to make three conclusions they can make by looking at the data.
Use the data from “Student Heights in the Junior Division” to make a histogram.
Once students have completed their histogram, have them compare it with a partner who used a bigger interval and a partner that used a smaller interval. Support students in recognizing that the different choices of intervals will result in different histograms, thereby affecting the appearance or shape of the histogram. The smaller the bins, the greater the detail, and vice versa.
Have students create appropriate graphs in various contexts throughout the year, including cross-curricular applications.
create an infographic about a data set, representing the data in appropriate ways, including in tables, histograms, and broken-line graphs, and incorporating any other relevant information that helps to tell a story about the data
To deepen their understanding of infographics and their purpose, have students examine the features and messages of an infographic, such as “Book Drive” which is found in the examples for D1.4. Ask questions such as:
Have students create an infographic for previously collected data, such as information they gathered for a STEM project. Ask them to identify their audience, what message they want to get across, what data visualization techniques they will use, and any other information that will help them share their message. Have them share their ideas with a peer to check that their message is coming through.
determine the range as a measure of spread and the measures of central tendency for various data sets, and use this information to compare two or more data sets
It is important for students to understand the difference between the range, the mode, the median, and the mean. Give them a set of data values, and ask them to determine the range, the mode, the median, and the mean. For example, the cost of various T-shirts (in dollars) at Store Y is:
Help students understand the difference between the range, the mode, the median, and the mean by posing questions like:
Have students determine the mean, the median, and the mode for data collected from a variety of sources, including those that involve cross-curricular applications, such as science experiments.
analyse different sets of data presented in various ways, including in histograms and broken-line graphs and in misleading graphs, by asking and answering questions about the data, challenging preconceived notions, and drawing conclusions, then make convincing arguments and informed decisions
Provide students with a bar graph or histogram that presents information in a misleading way. For example, the histogram below does not start at zero on the vertical axis, nor does it have a consistent scale for the age of guests. Have students describe what makes this graph misleading. Ask them to recreate the graph so that it presents the information accurately.
Throughout the year, have students collect representations of data about real-life topics that are of interest to them. Model asking the three types of questions outlined in the examples in D1.6, and then have students pose and answer their own questions that require thinking critically about the data.