Asking about shoes

The Ministry is migrating nzmaths content to Tāhurangi.           
Relevant and up-to-date teaching resources are being moved to Tāhūrangi ( 
When all identified resources have been successfully moved, this website will close. We expect this to be in June 2024. 
e-ako maths, e-ako Pāngarau, and e-ako PLD 360 will continue to be available. 

For more information visit


The purpose of this activity is to engage students in setting up for a statistical investigation by posing a question within the context given.

Achievement Objectives
S1-1: Conduct investigations using the statistical enquiry cycle: posing and answering questions; gathering, sorting and counting, and displaying category data; discussing the results.
Description of Mathematics

This activity assumes the students have experience in the following areas:

  • Posing questions for data-based investigation.
  • Exploring how to collect data that is needed to answer a question.
  • Sorting and resorting data to look for patterns and differences.
  • Answering questions using data.

The problem is sufficiently open ended to allow the students freedom of choice in their approach. It may be scaffolded with guidance that leads to a solution, and/or the students might be given the opportunity to solve the problem independently.

The example responses at the end of the resource give an indication of the kind of response to expect from students who approach the problem in particular ways.



Some teachers like students to take their shoes off at the door, to keep dirt out of the classroom.

Find out about what you could expect to see piled up at the classroom door if your teacher asked you all to take your shoes off there.

  • Pose a question to investigate
  • What sort of answer(s) do you expect to get?


The following prompts illustrate how this activity can be structured around the Problem and Plan parts of the Statistical Enquiry Cycle.


The problem section is about what data to collect and who to collect it from and why it’s important.

  • What is my  question? Why do I wonder about that?
  • Why might my question be important?
  • Are all the words (terms) in my question clear to someone else? 


The planning section is about how students will gather the data.

  • How will I go about answering this question?
  • What will I need to know?
  • How will I find the data that I need? Is the data already available somewhere or will I need to collect it?
  • Have I thought about how I will sort the footware?
  • Will I just look at footware for my class or look at other classes as well?
  • Can I predict possible answers to my question, even before I look at data?
  • What might my answer look like?

Examples of work

Work sample 1

The student conjectures about what types of shoes are most common and creates an investigative question about shoes outside their classroom.

Click on the image to enlarge it. Click again to close. 

Work sample 2

The student poses an investigative question that specifies the features of footware to measure. They conjecture several categories based on how the shoes are fastened.

Click on the image to enlarge it. Click again to close. 

Add to plan

Log in or register to create plans from your planning space that include this resource.

Level One