This lesson is devoted to demonstrating some "real world" applications of statistics. By examining
some web pages about shopping and consumer information, students will see the many uses of
statistics in this area and gain experience working with and understanding statistics in a
practical setting.

Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will:

have seen how statistics are used in everyday life

have learned to search for consumer-related statistical information on the Internet

have practiced analyzing statistics to make decisions

Standards Addressed:

Grade 10

Statistics and Probability

The student demonstrates an ability to analyze data (comparing, explaining, interpreting, evaluating, making predictions, describing trends; drawing, formulating, or justifying conclusions).

Grade 6

Statistics and Probability

The student demonstrates an ability to classify and organize data.

Grade 7

Statistics and Probability

The student demonstrates an ability to classify and organize data.

Grade 8

Statistics and Probability

The student demonstrates an ability to classify and organize data.

Grade 9

Statistics and Probability

The student demonstrates an ability to analyze data (comparing, explaining, interpreting, evaluating, making predictions, describing trends; drawing, formulating, or justifying conclusions).

Third Grade

Measurement and Data

Represent and interpret data.

Grades 6-8

Data Analysis and Probability

Develop and evaluate inferences and predictions that are based on data

Formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize, and display relevant data to answer them

Grades 9-12

Data Analysis and Probability

Develop and evaluate inferences and predictions that are based on data

Grade 7

Number and Operations, Measurement, Geometry, Data Analysis and Probability, Algebra

COMPETENCY GOAL 4: The learner will understand and use graphs and data analysis.

Grade 8

Number and Operations, Measurement, Geometry, Data Analysis and Probability, Algebra

COMPETENCY GOAL 4: The learner will understand and use graphs and data analysis.

Introductory Mathematics

Algebra

COMPETENCY GOAL 4: The learner will understand and use graphs and data analysis.

Data Analysis and Probability

COMPETENCY GOAL 3: The learner will understand and use graphs and data analysis.

Student Prerequisites

Arithmetic: Student must be able to:

work with percents

manipulate fractions in sums and products

Technological: Students must be able to:

perform basic mouse manipulations such as point, click and drag

use a browser for experimenting with the activities

Teacher Preparation

Access to a browser

Pencil and Paper

Lesson Outline

Focus and Review

Remind students what has been learned in previous lessons that will be pertinent to this lesson
and/or have them begin to think about the words and ideas of this lesson:

Internet search activity --teach students to find information on the Internet efficiently
and/or have them begin to think about the words and ideas of this lesson.

Objectives

Let the students know what they will be doing and learning today. Say something like this:

Today, class, we will be looking at various consumer related statistics we can find on the
web. We will use the statistical information we find and analyze it to see if the information
would be useful in the consumer decision making process.

Teacher Input

Narrow the search using
Consumer information links to find pertinent examples of how statistics are used in shopping and advertising.

Teachers may find it helpful to select some products or web sites ahead of time, and have the
students stay focused on those sites. Time spent searching for information will go by very
quickly, so it may help to have students perform a short search, but have some information
ready to use for illustration when it it time to bring the class back together to discuss the
findings.

Guided Practice

Search on the Internet for anything that connects shopping, consumer issues and statistics.
Each student or group of students can find and then share a piece of information about typical
buying habits of certain groups of people, annual sales of particular companies, year to year
changes in advertisement spendings, and so on.

Students may find it interesting to look for various ways of presenting the data (just stating
the facts, or using graphics, histograms, pictures, etc.).

By working through the
Sample Problems on Data Abuse , a discussion can follow about possibly misleading ways of presenting information.

Independent Practice

As a concluding activity, ask students to search for answers to specific questions. Each
student or group of students can come up with specific questions concerning consumer data, and
try to find answers using Internet resources.

Then use the questions in an Information Challenge: "Do you believe it?" Students or groups of
students can find a piece of statistical information on consumer issues, and then challenge
another group to confirm or refute their data. Students do not necessarily give the correct
information, making the activity more interesting. For example, having found that video games
comprise about 25% of the toy market, a student can ask: "Is it true that video games make up
more than half of the toy market?" Students can give hints, for example, the address of the
website where they found the information.

Closure

You may wish to bring the class back together to discuss different information the groups may
have found, especially any information that statistically may be misleading.

Once the students have been allowed to share what they found, summarize once more the main
points of the lesson in relation to the information the students found.

Alternate Outline

This lesson can be rearranged in several ways.

If time is available, teach the students helpful searching strategies and have them complete
an additional statistics-related activity such as comparing prices and features of a certain
consumer product and presenting the relevant statistics in a variety of forms (lists, graphs,
tables).

To shorten the lesson, the teacher can select consumer-related information from the Internet
and have students stay focused solely on that information.

Suggested Follow-Up

After this lesson, the students will have seen practical applications of how statistics are used
in everyday life. The next lesson,
Introduction to Statistics: Mean, Median and Mode, continues the student's initial introduction to statistics and helps students learn the
difference between these three similar but distinct statistical concepts.