NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1084121
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Dec
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1073-5836
Practical Problems: Using Literature to Teach Statistics
Hourigan, Mairéad; Leavy, Aisling
Teaching Children Mathematics, v22 n5 p282-291 Dec 2015
In this article the authors describe an instructional unit designed and taught in two classes of kindergarten children. The goals of the unit were to present a "driving question" to motivate the process of statistical investigation, to genuinely engage children in the stages of statistical investigation, and to facilitate them in experiencing an alternative data collection method. In an elementary school classroom, data are usually collected through surveys (asking people their favorite ice-cream flavor) or observing events (counting the colors of cars in the parking lot). A survey is a popular and effective data collection method (compare Cook 2008); nevertheless, for this unit the teachers wanted the children to experience an alternative method of data collection, namely "observation." They also wanted the students to experience statistics as a tool to investigate everyday problems. So, they presented the children with an ordinary problem: What puppet should a teacher buy for her class? To solve the problem, they would have to collect data to identify the character that appeared most frequently in a piece of children's literature. The teachers used the PPDAC (problem, plan, data, analysis, conclusion) cycle (Wild and Pfannkuch 1999) as a guiding framework for the unit. A bibliography is included.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Kindergarten; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A