Education Technology

Statistics: SD: Measure of Spread

by Texas Instruments


  • Students will identify the standard deviation as a measure of spread about the mean of a distribution.
  • Students will recognize that the size of the standard deviation depends on the spread of the distribution.


  • deviation
  • dot plot
  • mean
  • range
  • standard deviation

About the Lesson

This lesson is intended as an introductory activity to the concept of standard deviation.
As a result, students will:

  • Manipulate a dot plot to obtain specified standard deviations.
  • Examine different distributions with the same mean and range and note how the standard deviation changes.
  • Gain a basic understanding of what standard deviation is measuring and how changes in data values affect the standard deviation.