Education Technology

Box Plots Introduction

Published on 03/16/2011

Activity Overview

This lesson involves representing distributions of data using box plots. The emphasis is on helping students understand the relationship between individual data values and the five-number summary. Students will move data within a dot plot and observe the changes within the corresponding box plot and identify particular actions that most directly affect the five-number summary. As a result, students will develop the reasoning skills to recognize properties of a distribution from its box plot.

Objectives

  • Students will describe the overall pattern of a distribution by its shape, center, and spread.
  • Students will recognize and identify properties of distributions such as symmetry, skewness, and bi-modality from boxplots.
  • Students will identify outliers.
  • Students will recognize that moving data past a quartile can affect that quartile’s value.
  • Students will reason abstractly and quantitatively (CCSS Mathematical Practice).

Vocabulary

  • boxplot
  • inter-quartile range
  • outlier
  • skewness
  • interval
  • range
  • symmetry
  • distribution
  • median
  • quartile

About the Lesson

This lesson involves representing distributions of data using boxplots.
As a result, students will:

  • Develop the reasoning skills to recognize properties of a distribution from its boxplot.
  • Understand the relationship between individual data values and the five-number summary.
  • Move data within a dot plot and observe the changes within the corresponding boxplot to identify particular actions that most directly affect the five-number summary.