Lesson 5: So Many Questions

Lesson 5: So Many Questions [The Data Cycle: Ask Questions]


Students will deepen their understanding of statistical questions.


  1. Statistical Questions Scenarios handout (LMR_1.6_Statistical Questions Scenarios)


statistical questions

Essential Concepts:

Essential Concepts:

Statistical questions address variability.


  1. Entrance Slip (see Instructional Strategies in Teacher Resources): Each student should submit a ticket that displays the 4 components of the Data Cycle.

  2. Inform students that they will continue to learn about what makes a question statistical. Have them recall the definition of a statistical question: Statistical questions are questions that address variability and can be answered with data. A good way to determine this is to ask: Do we need to see the data to answer the question?

  3. Remind the students of the 2 questions from the previous lesson, noting that one of the questions was a statistical question, and the other was not:

    1. How old am I?

    2. How old are the students in my school?

  4. In pairs, ask students to analyze each question using the definition of a statistical question and come to an agreement about which one is a statistical question.

  5. Using Agree/Disagree (see Instructional Strategies in Teacher Resources), ask a pair of students for their results. Discuss why the first question IS NOT a statistical question (there is only one possible value) and why the second question IS a statistical question (not all students are the same age. The ages vary, so there is variability in the data).

  6. Distribute the scenarios in the Statistical Questions Scenarios handout (LMR_1.6) by assigning one scenario per student team. Scenarios can be used with more than one team.

  7. Using the definition of a statistical question, student teams will discuss and explain what makes each question in each scenario a statistical question. Recorders in each team will capture team members’ responses while the teacher circulates the room to check for understanding.

  8. Select a few teams to share their responses. Students in the audience will listen to the presentations and jot down whether they agree or disagree with the presenting team’s assessment of statistical questions. Be sure to discuss disagreements before moving on to different questions.

  9. Inform students that, in the next lesson, they will begin using the Data Cycle to learn about their food habits. To prepare for this, students should begin collecting the “Nutrition Facts” labels from foods/snacks they typically eat.

Class Scribes:

One team of students will give a brief talk to discuss what they think the 3 most important topics of the day were.


Ask students to bring at least 2 cutouts of the “Nutrition Facts” labels of the snacks they typically eat (e.g., chips, yogurt, blended drinks, etc.).

Note: An alternative to collecting “Nutrition Facts” labels is to print them from an online source and bring the printouts to class.