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8th Grade - Statistics in the Media


Consider the source, design, analysis, and display of data to evaluate statistics reported in the media. 0806.5.8

Links verified on 1/29/2010

  1. Class Interval - how to make the same data appear to support two different positions A lesson plan can be found at this site
  2. CNN posted misleading graph - poll results on Schiavo case - graph as presented and how it should have been shown
  3. Histograms and Bar Graphs - lesson plan on how data can be graphically represented (and misrepresented) A lesson plan can be found at this site
  4. Junk Charts - several examples of using graphs to mislead
  5. Misleading Graphs - a short YouTube video using one example graph A video is available through this link
  6. Misleading Graphs - comparison of two graphs
  7. Misleading Graphs - using only part of the data to misrepresent a point
  8. Misleading Graphs - lesson plan A lesson plan can be found at this site
  9. Misleading Graphs - lesson in the form of a slide show with examples and questions This site is interactive and allows students to play a game or input or collect data
  10. Misleading Graphs - lesson plan from Shodor A lesson plan can be found at this site
  11. Misleading Graphs - sheet to print and use in class [from Glencoe] An Adobe Acrobat document in .pdf format This link includes something for the teacher to print
  12. Misleading Graphs - showing the relationship between asphalt use in Finland and asthma rates
    1. Excel file - use this spreadsheet to support the lesson plan above This is an Excel workbook to download
  13. A resource for the teacher to use in planning their lessonsNews Quiz Archive - over 50 news stories from the BBC - Choose carefully, not all of these would be appropriate for 8th grade students. These stories include math in the news and a quiz This site includes questions for your students to check their understanding
  14. The Treasury Department's Junk Chart - example and explanation
  15. Vertical Scale Discussion - lesson plan from Shodor A lesson plan can be found at this site
  16. Visual, as well as Statistical, Misunderstanding - examples of misleading presentation of data
    1. Context: Compared to What? - a graph must not show data out of context
    2. Goosed Up Graphics - making things appear to be `better' than they are by fiddling with the scales
    3. Have Something to Say - "Knowin' all the words in the dictionary ain't gonna help if you got nuttin' to say" - a quote from Blind Lemon Jefferson, the great blues musician
    4. The Lie Factor - the ratio of the size of an effect shown in the graphic is not proportional to the size of the effect in the data
    5. Missed Opportunities - some important information was there, but the graph maker missed it
  17. Wikipedia article on the Laffer Curve - showing possible misuse of data in economics

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