The fundamental theme in the unit Statistics, Grade 6 is the concept of distribution. In the first lesson, students learn what a distribution is — basically, it is how the data is distributed. The distribution can be described by its center, spread, and overall shape. The shape is read from a graph, such as a dot plot or a bar graph.
Two major concepts when summarizing and analyzing distributions are its center and its variability. First we study the center, in the lessons about mean, median, and mode. Students not only learn to calculate these values, but also relate the choice of measures of center to the shape of the data distribution and the type of data.
In the lesson Measures of Variation we study range, interquartile range, and mean absolute deviation. The last one takes many calculations, and the lesson gives instructions on how to calculate it using a spreadsheet program, such as Excel.
Then in the next lessons, students learn to make several different kinds of graphs: histograms, box-plots, and stem-and-leaf plots. In those lessons, students continue summarizing distributions by giving their shape, a measure of center, and a measure of variability.