Lesson 3

Interpreting Histograms

Lesson Narrative

In this lesson students are introduced to histograms. They learn that, like a dot plot, a histogram can be used to show the distribution of a numerical data set, but unlike a dot plot, a histogram shows the frequencies of groups of values, rather than individual values. Students read and interpret histograms in context (MP2) to prepare them to create a histogram.

They also characterize the distribution displayed in a histogram in terms of its shape and spread, and identify a measurement that is typical for the data set by looking for the center in a histogram (MP7). Students then use histograms to make comparisons and to better understand what different spreads and values of center mean in a given context.

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

  • Compare and contrast (in writing) histograms that represent two different data sets measuring the same quantity.
  • Create a histogram to represent a data set.
  • Describe (orally and in writing) the distribution shown on a histogram, including making claims about the center and spread.
  • Interpret a histogram to answer (in writing) statistical questions about a data set.

Student Facing

Let's explore how histograms represent data sets.

Learning Targets

Student Facing

  • I can use a histogram to describe the distribution of data and determine a typical value for the data.
  • I can use a histogram to get information about the distribution of data and explain what it means in a real-world situation.

CCSS Standards

Glossary Entries

  • histogram

    A histogram is a way to represent data on a number line. Data values are grouped by ranges. The height of the bar shows how many data values are in that group.

    This histogram shows there were 10 people who earned 2 or 3 tickets. We can't tell how many of them earned 2 tickets or how many earned 3. Each bar includes the left-end value but not the right-end value. (There were 5 people who earned 0 or 1 tickets and 13 people who earned 6 or 7 tickets.)

    histogram showing number of tickets

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