Purpose

The purpose of this activity is to engage students in sorting data and identifying pattern and trends.

Description of Mathematics

The background knowledge and skills that should be established before and/or during this activity are outlined in the diagram below:

Click to show example questions for each heading

This activity may be carried out with step by step guidance, or by allowing the student to follow their own method of solution. The approach should be chosen in sympathy with students' skills and depth of understanding.

Activity

When a student suggested that boys have bigger feet than girls and another student said it was just a matter of how tall you are if your feet are bigger, the teacher decided to launch an investigation.

The class collected data from all their year group. They made response cards on coloured paper to allow them to sort and to make graphs of the results. Using these cards, can they say that boys feet are bigger than girls feet? Or, is foot size related to height?

Choose one of these questions to investigate. You may use the data provided, or survey/measure your own class.

Big Feet Data (.xls, 11KB)
Big Feet Response Cards (.xls, 12KB)

The procedural approach  (show more)

  • The student is able to design an investigation, using the enquiry cycle.

The conceptual approach  (show more)

  • The student is able to design an investigation that would lead to reliable results, using the enquiry cycle.
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Level Three