At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:
- Make and interpret stem-and-leaf plots.
- Make and interpret histograms.
- Make histograms using a graphing calculator.
Terms introduced in this lesson:
visual representation of data
ordered stem-and-lead plot
Teaching Strategies and Tips
In the previous lesson, students learned that the appropriateness of an average depends on the shape of the distribution of the data.
- Plotting data is essential and should come naturally as a first step in data analysis.
- In this lesson, students learn to group and visualize data using stem-and-leaf plots and histograms. See Examples 1 and 2, respectively.
Emphasize the similarity between histograms and stem-and-leaf plots – a stem-and- leaf plot resembles a histogram on its side.
Teachers are encouraged to present several examples of stem-and-leaf plots consisting of different kinds of data sets, such as: clustered data that comes as three-digit numbers, data spread out coming in three-digits, data consisting of numbers with 1 or two decimal places, and data sets with decimals between 0 and 1.
Arrange the data into a stem-and-leaf plot.
a. The students in Mr. Peterson’s math class took the AP Statistics exam. Their math scores are:
b. The weights, in ounces, of several cookies taken from the same package are:
c. The precipitation, in mm, for the city of Townville in the month of October is:
Teachers are encouraged to show side-by-side histograms for the same data set as patterns can be more or less apparent with different number of bins.
- By increasing or decreasing bin-widths, students see how the shape of the distribution changes for better or worse.
- Some bin-widths can be random-looking or even misleading.
Remind students in Review Questions 1 and 4 to construct ordered stem-and-leaf plots, placing the leaves on each branch in ascending order, before correctly determining the median and the mode.