This 7-page document contains 3 real-life data sets. For each data set, students are guided through an exploration of how outliers in data affect mean, median, mode, and range. Each data set requires students to perform calculations and answer questions specific to the data and the measures of central tendency.
At the end of the activity, students are asked several concluding questions that require them to analyze and evaluate their work. I've included these questions here for your review:
Now that you have examined three sets of data you are ready to make some general conclusions. Answer each question in complete sentences and justify your answer by referring back to calculations you made with the data sets.
1) When there is an outlier in a data set, how is the value of the mean affected? How is the value of the median affected? Does the outlier have a greater affect on the mean or the median? Remember to justify your answer with examples from your calculations.
2) You want to accurately represent a typical number in a data set. If there is an outlier in the data, which measure of central tendency (mean or median) should you use to represent the data?
3) When there is an outlier in the data, how is the value of the range affected? Explain.
4) When there is an outlier in the data, would the value of the mode be affected? Why or why not?
This file can be used to teach the standards 6.SP or as a review. It would also serve as an excellent assessment.