Beacon Unit Plan Library

Statistical Sleuths

Lisa Ove Gibson
Beacon Learning Center


Statistical Sleuths involves students in mathematical problem-solving processes. Faced with dilemmas such as, how much time an average eighth grade student should spend on homework, students formulate and test their hypotheses using mock statistics and identify sampling techniques that could be used to collect the necessary data. They then organize the data into several graphs and reflect on the data's central tendency. Throughout the exploration of the unit, a Detective Diary is utilized so that students can share personal reflections in a journal format. For the summative assessment, students use skills and processes learned during class to complete an FCAT style test and then embark on a performance based statistical journey which replicates the daily activities from the unit, allowing students to prove their learning in a real-world application.


How much time should the average eighth-grade student spend on homework?


The planned duration of this activity is 12 days.

Associated Files

Unit Plan Overview (PDF)     File Extension:  pdf

Diagnostic Assessment 1 (PDF)     File Extension:  pdf

Diagnostic Assessment 2 (PDF)     File Extension:  pdf

Summative Assessment 1 (PDF)     File Extension:  pdf

Summative Assessment 2 (PDF)     File Extension:  pdf

Vocabulary for Unit (PDF)     File Extension:  pdf

Diary Entries (PDF)     File Extension:  pdf

Long-Answer Question Rubric (PDF)     File Extension:  pdf

Lesson Plans

Designing Detectives
Students explore the idea of formulating a hypothesis and designing an experiment to test the hypothesis. This is an introduction to the Unit Plan: Statistical Sleuths.

Sampling Snoops
Students practice formulating a hypothesis and designing an experiment to test the hypothesis. Then they identify several sampling techniques they can use to test their hypotheses.

The Guise of a Graph Gumshoe
Students practice constructing bar, circle, and box-and-whisker graphs. Students also practice reading and interpreting data displays and explore how different displays of data can lead to different interpretations.

Statistical Specimens
Students explore sampling techniques that are used to collect data. Students also practice finding mean, median, and mode of a set of data. Finally, students determine appropriate measures of central tendency for a situation.

Web Links

Students use range, mean, median, and mode.
All That Data!
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