Tag Archives: cross-curricular

Cross-curricular Middle School Statistics Unit

Note: When we surveyed teachers from the 2021-22 academic year, the most requested addition to the site was to combine the lessons into units. This cross-curricular statistics unit has 12 lessons that total 14 hours of class time, although some assignments could be completed as homework. With the length of this unit, it could be taught as a complete summer school course, addressing primarily mathematics standards but also incorporating English language arts, Social Studies (predominantly Indigenous and Latino history and culture) and science.

๐Ÿ“–Standards

STATISTICS STANDARDS

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.A.1 Recognize a statistical question as one that anticipates
variability in the data related to the question and accounts
for it in the answers
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.A.3 Recognize that a measure of center for a numerical data set summarizes all of its values with a single number.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.B.4 Display numerical data in plots on a number line, including dot plots, histograms, and box plots.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.B.5 Statistics & Probability: Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.RP.A.2.B Ratios & Proportional Relationships: Identify the constant of proportionality (unit rate) in  tables, graphs, equations, diagrams, and verbal descriptions of proportional relationships.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT 7.SP.A.1 Understand that statistics can be used to gain information about a population by examining a sample of the population; generalizations about a population from a sample are valid only if the sample is representative of that population.
CCSS.Math.Content.7.SP.C.5
Understand that the probability of a chance event is a number between 0 and 1 that expresses the likelihood of the event occurring. Larger numbers indicate greater likelihood. A probability near 0 indicates an unlikely event, a probability around 1/2 indicates an event that is neither unlikely nor likely, and a probability near 1 indicates a likely event.
CCSS.Math.Content.7.SP.C.6
Approximate the probability of a chance event by collecting data on the chance process that produces it and observing its long-run relative frequency, and predict the approximate relative frequency given the probability.

ADDITIONAL MATHEMATICS STANDARDS

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.5.NF.B.4   Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication to multiply a fraction or whole number by a fraction.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.RP.A.2 Recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities.

ENGLISH/ LANGUAGE ARTS STANDARDS

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.7 Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.3 Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.

SCIENCE STANDARDS

Next Generation Science Standard MS-LS2-1 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics: Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.

SOCIAL STUDIES STANDARDS

D2.His.13.3-5  Use information about a historical source, including the maker, date, place of origin, intended audience, and purpose to judge the extent to which the source is useful for studying a particular topic.

โฐTime Required

About 14 hours for all twelve lessons

๐Ÿ“ฒTechnology Required

Projector or smart board for inโ€“class or access to computer or tablet for web meeting for remote learning. Presentations could be printed for students at home without computer access. Some lessons require use of Google sheets or similar spreadsheet software.

๐ŸงพUnit Summary

This seven-lesson unit teaches sixth- and seventh-grade standards on statistics integrated with games, Indigenous and Latino history and culture. The complete multi-media unit requires about 14 hours and includes multiple hands-on activities. 

trees in background, grass in foreground
Find your way back using clues from the plants around you

๐Ÿ“ƒ Lesson 1: What is a Statistical Question? (120 Minutes)

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.A.1 Recognize a statistical question as one that anticipates
variability in the data related to the question and accounts
for it in the answers

Teachers begin the lesson with a Google slides presentation explaining the requirements for a statistical question. Students complete an assignment identifying whether or not a question qualifies as a statistical question. After class discussion, students complete a second assignment using a small data set shown on a map. In Part 3, students write and answer their own statistical questions using a data set provided, giving an explanation for their answers. Optionally, students can complete a more challenging assignment drawing conclusions from a graph and/or play a game and identify statistical questions.

๐Ÿ“ƒ Lesson 2: Mean, median and mode (35 Minutes)

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.B.5 Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context

Students play a game teaching basic statistics and history. Next, they are given a presentation with problems students solve finding mean, median, mode, range and outliers.

This lesson has resources to teach in both Spanish and English, for an English-only lesson, click here.

๐Ÿ“ƒLesson 3: Understanding averages using skunks (30 minutes)

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.B.5 Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.7 Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.

In this lesson, students will learn how to find the mean and calculate the average and practice finding the average in a game environment. They will learn about skunks and skunk farming through primary source material. Then analyzing historical data, students will calculate the average.

๐Ÿ“ƒLesson 4: Reflections on the Ojibwe Migration (60 minutes)

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.5.NF.B.4   Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication to multiply a fraction or whole number by a fraction.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.A.3 Recognize that a measure of center for a numerical data set summarizes all of its values with a single number.
D2.His.13.3-5  Use information about a historical source, including the maker, date, place of origin, intended audience, and purpose to judge the extent to which the source is useful for studying a particular topic.

This multi-media lesson begins with a storyboard on the route and major events of the Ojibwe migration. Students then play the Forgotten Trail game, computing the average number of miles a character walked per day, followed by watching a video on map reading. As a group, students reflect on the challenges of the Ojibwe migration, compute the distance for just one segment and convert the distance from miles to kilometers.

๐Ÿ“ƒ Lesson 5: Science, language arts and math with wildflowers (50 Minutes)

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.7 Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.
Next Generation Science Standard MS-LS2-1 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics: Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.A.3 Recognize that a measure of center for a numerical data set summarizes all of its values with a single number.

This is a true STREAM lesson. Combining science, reading, art and mathematics. Students read a description of the pine forest ecosystem and life zones. They define any new words in their personal dictionary. Students then use information on plant life to identify life zones and locate these zones in terms of altitude. Students who complete the activity before the allotted class time play a game that teaches fractions and basic statistics.

๐Ÿ“ƒ Lesson 6: Teaching Frequency Tables with Indigenous Communitiesโ€™ Data (70 minutes)

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.B.4 Display numerical data in plots on a number line, including dot plots, histograms, and box plots.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.B.5 Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context

With a Google slides presentation, students are introduced to the concept of answering a question with data. A video is also provided for review. Using a data set of all tribal leaders in 2019, they are walked though an example of using Google Sheets to create frequency table and plots of data. Students then use the data set to create their own tables and plots. Students finish the lesson by playing a game where they learn about computing distributions in Mayan history.

๐Ÿ“ƒ Lesson 7: Distributions and Mayan Trading (25 Minutes)

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT 7.SP.A.1 Understand that statistics can be used to gain information about a population by examining a sample of the population; generalizations about a population from a sample are valid only if the sample is representative of that population.

The two videos here combine math and social studies, because, clearly, the Maya understood math. The concept of distributions is introduced in the context of trading, explaining why some objects are more valuable. Students play AzTech: The Story Begins, which reviews fractions and measures of central tendency. The lesson concludes with a question and another video on distributions.
(NOTE: Videos are available in Spanish and Englishfor English only lesson, click here. )

๐Ÿ“ƒ Lesson 8: Food Deserts, Indigenous Seeds and Data Stories (90 Minutes)

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.3 Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.B.4 Display numerical data in plots
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.B.5 Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.RP.A.2 Recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities

This truly cross-curricular assignment begins by watching a video about seed rematriation, that is returning Indigenous seeds to their original lands. They read a short booklet on cooking and nutrition, then do a cooking activity at school or home. A presentation on food deserts includes definitions, data and actions students can take. Students add new words or phrases to their word journal and complete a math assignment using data from the presentation. Advanced students play a game to learn more math and Navajo culture.

๐Ÿ“ƒLesson 9: Reading and Comparing Bar Graphs (45 Minutes)

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.B.5 Statistics & Probability: Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context.

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.RP.A.2.B Ratios & Proportional Relationships: Identify the constant of proportionality (unit rate) in  tables, graphs, equations, diagrams, and verbal descriptions of proportional relationships.

This lesson introduces students to reading and comparing bar graphs with proportional relationships. Students receive a slide or handout with four bar graphs and complete a set of cards with questions on the graphs. They can also complete the activity in Google slides . The lesson ends with an adventure game that includes discussion of interpreting bar graphs.

๐Ÿ“ƒLesson 10: Google Slides and Math (180 Minutes)

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.B.5.C Giving quantitative measures of center and variability, as well as describing any overall pattern and any striking deviations from the overall pattern with reference to the context in which the data were gathered.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.7 Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.

Students play three games that teach fractions and statistics. Students learn enhanced features of Google slides. They then create a Google slides presentation stating which is their favorite game and why.

๐Ÿ“ƒLesson 11: Probability and Fruits (45 Minutes)

CCSS.Math.Content.7.SP.C.5
Understand that the probability of a chance event is a number between 0 and 1 that expresses the likelihood of the event occurring. Larger numbers indicate greater likelihood. A probability near 0 indicates an unlikely event, a probability around 1/2 indicates an event that is neither unlikely nor likely, and a probability near 1 indicates a likely event.
CCSS.Math.Content.7.SP.C.6
Approximate the probability of a chance event by collecting data on the chance process that produces it and observing its long-run relative frequency, and predict the approximate relative frequency given the probability.

The Google slides presentation begins with definitions of probability, impossibility and certainty. Students are then given an example of a basket with different types of fruits and the probability of each. Students each come to the front of the class and pull a piece of fruit from the basket, writing down the probability of their selecting the type they obtained. The class data is used to create a table and compare the obtained probabilities to actual distribution of fruit in the basket. The lesson closes with students creating their own probability question.

NOTE: This lesson plan requires a basket of fruit. You could use pictures of fruit printed out or drawn on paper instead but using actual fruit from your area might be more fun. If youโ€™d rather, though, we do have a random fruit basket generator to use with this lesson.

๐Ÿ“ƒ Lesson 12: Teaching Statistics in Classrooms with English Learners AND Native Speakers (90 minutes)

CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.SP.A.1 Recognize a statistical question as one that anticipates
variability in the data related to the question and accounts
for it in the answers
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.SP.A.1 Understand that statistics can be used to gain information about a population by examining a sample of the population; generalizations about a population from a sample are valid only if the sample is representative of that population.

This lesson includes game-based instruction and data analysis. Data can be collected at home on studentsโ€™ phones or using a computer. Google sheets is used to compute descriptive statistics to answer a statistical question. Lab instructions, Sheet templates and a sample answer are included. You can modify this in an infinite number of ways to compare any two groups on any numeric variable.