Lesson plan

10. Express the differences in sample means (FP)

teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.7.SP.B.3 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/7/SP/B/3
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP6 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP6
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Lesson objective: Know how to express the difference in sample means as a multiple of a measure of variability.


This lesson helps to build fluency with expressing the difference in sample means as a multiple of a measure of variability. Dot plots are used here because they provide a visual representation of the center and spread of the the two sample’s data. This work develops students' understanding that the measures of center and variability that are calculated for random samples of two populations can be used to make informal comparisons about the similarities and differences in the centers and variabilities of the two populations .


Students engage in Mathematical Practice 6 (Attend to precision) as they calculate the mean absolute deviation (MAD) for data sets, compare the variability in samples,  and interpret the MADs in the context of the problems.


Key vocabulary:

  • center

  • distribution

  • dot plot

  • MAD (mean absolute deviation)

  • population

  • population mean

  • random sample

  • range

  • sample mean

  • spread

  • sampling variability


Special materials needed:

  • none