This project is an excellent way to end a unit on graphing and statistics. You will need to have covered the calculation of range including minimum and maximum values, mean, median, and mode. In addition, students will need to know how to make a line plot (the number line with Xs over each corresponding value), a frequency table, and several types of graphs. Note that students love and are familiar with pie charts, but these can be difficult to master and they are a great extension for students who finish early. I prefer to schedule this activity for after we have covered division, so that students may include averages (or means) in their statistics. If you will not get to division before this activity, you could explain averages and help the students calculate theirs.
Students take great ownership of their projects, and for me they have been happy to take time from snack/lunch/recess to ask their fellow students to respond to their chosen question. I have included 20 possible questions, but you should ask students to generate their own and use mine only for students who do not come up with suitable questions on their own.
The idea here is to have students survey a sample of their grade (or larger group if necessary) to gather data to analyze. The project begins with students coming up with some questions that require a quantitative answer. They then select a subset of their population that includes roughly 15 or 20 students. Using their data, students calculate the range, maximum, minimum, mean, median, and mode. In addition to showing this data in a tabular form, they also include it in a descriptive paragraph. These are included in a display of their findings along with two graphs.
I have included photos of finished projects. Students enjoy seeing their work on display, and if you help them choose their questions thoughtfully, they will be interested in their, and others’, results. The rubric for the entire project is included. This sheet also serves as the directions for the students.
I like having the students conduct their surveys in person, but for your purposes, you may want to have them come up with questions they could ask through email or social media.