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Activity Info
Title: Displaying Numerical Data with Tikki Tikki Tembo
Learning Target: • I can identify the components of dot plots. • I can identify the component of box plots. • I can find the median, quartile and interquartile range of a data set. • I can analyze a set of data to determine its variance. • I can create a dot plot and a box plot to display a set of numerical data. • I can calculate quantitative measures of center (mean, median mode). • I can identify outliers. • I can analyze the data distribution to choose the appropriate measures of central tendency and variability. • I can determine the meaning of words I do not know based on text. • I can identify the plot structure of the story including setting, character and conflict.
Grade: 6
Math KCAS: 6.SP.5
"Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context, such as by: -- a. Reporting the number of observations. -- b. Describing the nature of the attribute under investigation, including how it was measured and its units of measurement. -- c. Giving quantitative measures of center (median and/or mean) and variability (interquartile range and/or mean absolute deviation), as well as describing any overall pattern and any striking deviations from the overall pattern with reference to the context in which the data was gathered. -- d. Relating the choice of measures of center and variability to the shape of the data distribution and the context in which the data was gathered."

Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

Title: Tikki Tikki Tembo
Author: Arlene Mosel
ISBN10: 0312367481
ISBN13: 978-031236748
Lexile Reading Level: AD109
Activity Descriptors
Formative Assessment Strategy:

Pre-assessment quiz to make students know students know how to find mean, median, mode and range.

  • Index Cards
  • Lab Sheet
  • Centimeter grid paper

Day 1:  Instructions:

Step 1: Students will be asked to write their complete (full) name on an index card, and then count the number of letters in their entire name. This will be our data set for this activity.

Step 2: Student will write the number of letters in their complete name on the Smartboard.

Step 3: Using the set of data put the numbers in order from least to greatest. Write each number in one square of the graph paper strip that is provided. Tear off the empty squares from the strip.

Step 4: Find the median of the data by folding the paper strip in the middle. Fold the ends of the paper strip to the center. These folds mark the median (middle) of the lower half of the data and the median (middle) of the upper half of the data. By folding the paper strip in this way you have divided the data into four equal parts.

Step 5: Walk students through steps of constructing the box and whiskers plot as follows:

  1. Draw a number line (Discuss how to number the number line)
  2. Draw a vertical bar above the number line to mark the median of the data set.
  3. Draw two more vertical bars above the number line to show where the lower median (1st quartile) and upper median (3rd quartile) are on the number line.
  4. Connect the tops of these bars with a horizontal line. Connect the bottom of the bars with a horizontal line. This should form a “box”
  5. Place dots above the number line to show where the smallest (minimum) and the largest (maximum) numbers are on the number line. Connect these dots to the “box” on each side with horizontal lines. These are the “whiskers”.


PART II Initiate class discussion about the minimum value, maximum value, range and any outliers, lower quartile, upper quartile, median and interquartile range.


Read Tikki  Tikki Tembo retold by Arlene Mosel/illustrated by Blair Lent


  • Instructions: (Students will have worked on meaning of words based on text, and identifying the plot structure of the story including setting, character and conflict in their language arts class prior to this lesson).
  • Students will write Tikki Tikki Tembo’s full name and count the number of letters and re-create the box and whisker plot and respond to the following questions in a group discussion:
    1. Compare the box and whisker plots. How has the plot changed?
    2. Did the minimum or the maximum change? Why or why not? Be sure to relate your reasons to the data you used to construct your plot.
    3. Which measure of central tendency would best represent the data? 
Variations, Connections, or Follow-up Suggestions

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