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Visual representation of data on a histogram and the many graphs associated with this display

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Stem and Leaf Plots
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Graphing the number of hours you and your friends spend gaming


Graphing the numbers hours you and your spend gaming


  • Stem-and-Leaf Plot
  • Histogram
  • Range
  • Frequency distribution table
  • Bins

Student Exploration

How many hours do you and your friends spend gaming?

“Call of Duty: Black Ops” players have killed the equivalent of nine times the world’s population.

A recent article by msnb.com Tech reported that “Call of Duty: Black Ops” players have killed the equivalent of nine times the world’s population and played for the duration of 161 times that of World War II. See the following article for more information, http://www.ingame.msnbc.msn.com/technology/ingame/call-duty-players-have-killed-world-nine-times-125299.

And it is not just “Call of Duty: Black Ops” gamers that are busy killing, “Halo” players have killed each other 136,128,511,043 times and for 2,060,196,113 hours. According to the following report, http://www.bungie.net/stats/reach/online.aspx.

A Xbox videogame controller.

How do you and your friends measure up? How much time do you spend gaming? Survey twenty of your gamer friends and ask them the number of hours per week that they normally spend playing video games. Record the data from your survey and then present it in three forms.

1. Present the data from your video game survey in a stem-and-leaf plot.
2. Present the data from your video game survey in a histogram graph.
3. Create a histogram on your TI-83 calculator.

If you and your friends do not play video games, then do this same activity for a hobby of interest to you.

Extension Investigation

A Nintendo videogame controller.

Need help graphing? Follow the steps in #4 for the stem-and-leaf plot, #5 for the histogram, and #6 for the calculator-generated histogram.

4. For the stem-and-leaf plot, examine the data from your survey. Then set up the stem for your stem-and-leaf plot. Your stem need to be arranged vertically from the tens digit of your smallest value through the tens digit of your largest value (this might be a hundreds digit if your friends are serious gamers). After you set up the stem, then make the leaves! Write the leaves horizontally on the right of its stem. For more in-depth instructions revisit the “read” tab for “Stem-and-Leaf Plots.”
5. For the histogram, examine the data from your survey. Then create a frequency distribution table where you put the data in bins. A histogram should have 5 to 10 bins to make it the most meaningful. Find the range of your survey data and then divide the range by the number of bins. Then make your frequency table. Once you have made a distribution table, use it to construct the histogram. For more in-depth instructions revisit the “read” tab for “Histograms.”
6. For step-by-step instructions on how to create a histogram on a TI-83 calculator, revisit the “read” tab for “Applications of Histograms.”

Answer the following questions.

7. Compare your stem-and-leaf plot and histogram. How are they alike? How are they different? Explain.
8. Describe the distribution of data in your histogram. Is it symmetrical? Right-skewed? Left-skewed? What about the data causes this type of distribution?
9. What advantages do histograms have over stem-and-leaf plots? Explain.
10. What advantages do stem-and-leaf plots have over histograms? Explain.
11. For many people, viewing data visually (i.e. histogram, pie graph) is easier. In what types of situations would viewing data in a stem-and-leaf plot be better? Why?
12. What are the pros and cons of viewing and editing a calculator-generated histogram?
13. Scan and upload your stem-and-leaf plot and histogram to CK-12’s website to share with other students!

Resources Cited



Connections to other CK-12 Subject Areas

  • Stem-and-Leaf Plots
  • Histograms
  • Applications of Histograms

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