Candidate Name Matthew Wilt Lesson Topic Box and Whisker Plots
Date of Lesson April 17th 2015 Grade Level High School
Decision and Planning Sequence
Interpreting Categorical and Quantitative Data:
Summarize, represent, and interpret data on a single count or measurement
1. Represent data with plots on the real number line (dot plots,
histograms, and box plots).
2. Use statistics appropriate to the shape of the data distribution to
compare center (median, mean) and spread (interquartile range,
standard deviation) of two or more different data sets.
3. Interpret differences in shape, center, and spread in the context of the
data sets, accounting for possible effects of extreme data points
2. LessonObjective(s): Students will be able create, interpret, and compare box and
whisker plots using two sets of data. Then, using their interpretations and comparisons,
the students will compare them to propaganda presented in the earlier half of the class
and draw conclusions.
3. Instructional Material/Resources: Smart Board, PowerPoint, Handout, Calculators, and
4. Prior Knowledge: Students have the basic knowledge of how to create a box and
whisker plot using a set of data.
5. Body of Lesson
a. Anticipatory Set: “The propaganda had to be effective enough to persuade the
people to support the war effort despite the overwhelming casualty statistics. If
we look at the casualty statistics for both the Axis and Allies we can get a better
understanding of how effective the propaganda was. But we need a way to
compare each side. One method to do so is to create box and whisker plots or box
plots which we discussed how to do yesterday. Thus the goal of today’s lesson is
to be able to create, interpret, and compare box and whisker plots.”
b. Teaching Strategies: Lecture, Cooperative Learning (Think-Pair-Share), Inquiry
c. Procedures: After the students learn about the effects that propaganda had on
World War II, they will begin to look at the effects of the war in terms of
i. Transition from propaganda to analyzing casualties. Propaganda was used
to increase the war effort against overwhelming casualty statistics.
ii. Brief overview of how catastrophic the war was. “World War II was the
biggest and most terrible war the world has ever seen. There were 61
countries involved, and 1.9 billion of their populations took up arms and
fought. Approximately 69,700,000 people lost their lives. It is said that
about 1 in every 40 people in the world died, many of them civilians. This
equates to 1 death every 3 seconds during the time of World War II”
iii. Anticipatory Set
iv. Relevance/Review – “Why use a boxplot for this? As we discussed
yesterday, boxplots are useful for indicating whether a distribution is
skewed and whether there are potential unusual observations in the data
set by showing the shape of the distribution, its central value, and
variability. They are also a great method to use when comparing two sets
of data. In the real world boxplots are often used in company logistic
meetings to compare various sets of data over a specific interval.”
v. Review – How to create a boxplot.
1. Order the data from least to greatest.
2. Find the median (middle number of the set).
3. Find the lower quartile and upper quartile.
4. Determine if there are any outliers
5. Create a scale.
6. Draw your box, whiskers, and outliers using the data.
vi. Staying in the same groups, each group will work together and create a
boxplot for both the axis and allies casualties.
vii. Distribute data sheets and paper to graph each boxplot.
viii. Inquiry question: “Before you get started, take a few seconds and from
what you know about World War II and just briefly looking at the data,
what do you think each boxplot will look like?”
ix. Ask a few students to share their hypothesis.
x. Students begin assignment. During this time, I will be walking around
looking for teamwork, communication, and respect. I will also be looking
for the use of correct methods for creating a box plot.
xi. As the students are finishing up, ask the students to individually think
about and interpret each boxplot, and then compare the two boxplots.
xii. Students will then share their interpretations amongst their group and
come to a consensus with a conclusion regarding the two boxplots.
xiii. One spokesperson from each group will then share the group’s
interpretations and conclusions.
d. Closure: Cooperative closure with the other teacher. Tying the box and whisker
plot and propaganda comparisons together. “Comparing the box and whisker plots
and the propaganda, what do they tell you about the consequences of war and the
decisions by leaders to go to war?” The students will then discuss in their groups
and share their conclusion to the class.
e. Assessment: Formative assessment. While the students are working on the box
and whisker plots I will be observing each group to see how well they understand
the concept. I will be looking for the use of correct methods for creating box
plots. I will also be observing each group and how they are working together;
specifically looking for signs of different social skill such as teamwork,
communication, respect, helpfulness, and responsibility.
Accommodations/Differentiation/Universal Design for Learning/Tiered LessonPlan
Provide a detailed list of
steps to follow to make a
Extra time during think-
Having a worksheet set up
for the students to simplify
creation of boxplots.
More review of boxplots.
Provide an example with
step by step instructions.
Pose more open-ended
Deeper lesson regarding
the content. (e.g. Using a
five number summary and
interpreting the meaning).
Teacher Reflective Evaluation
Overall I am very pleased with how the lesson went. There are many things that I believe
I did well and that Ms. Lewis and I together did well. However, there are also some things that I
believe I can improve upon teaching alone and in a collaborative lesson. In regards to a few of
my general strengths during the lesson, I feel that my communication skills: volume, eye-contact,
movement, facial expressions, and gestures were appropriate and effective. I was able to spread
my eye-contact to various students in the classroom instead of just focusing on one person. I
believe that my introduction and anticipatory set was very effective at grabbing the students’
attention because it demonstrated how catastrophic World War II was and it tied into the first
portion of the collaborative lesson. I also feel that my use of technology was appropriate because
it allowed me to quickly and easily review material that was important in the lesson. It was also
very effective in allowing me to present the completed box plots in the end of the lesson so even
those groups that did not finish could still participate in the closure activity. In regards to the
handout, by not informing the students I would be giving them a handout before reviewing the
material and then distributing the handout that had this information on it after covering the
information forced the students to focus on the information. I also believe that the handout
helped many students while they were working on their project because it allowed them to make
any notes on the handout that they needed to make, in addition to it being something that they
can reference throughout the activity and at a later time if need be. I also believe that pre-making
the scale and ordering the data from least to greatest saved some time, allowing the students to
focus more on the main idea of the lesson. In regards to wait time for different questions I asked,
I feel that I provided ample time for students to think. I believe that the questions I asked the
students were very thought provoking and forced them to think outside the box. In regards to my
student centered approach, I feel that my inquiry question forced to the students to think about
the task and it made them curious as to what the box plots will look like. I also feel that by how
the groups were set up, the students were able to further develop their social skills by working
together and sharing their knowledge to complete the task. Towards the end of the lesson, I
believe that my decision to move on even though not every group was finished was a good
decision as well as one that had to be made due to time. Another aspect I feel that I improved on
is checking for understanding. Despite having only checked for understanding once during the
short lecture portion, I did check for understanding throughout the group portion of the lesson.
In regards to things that went well collaboratively, I feel that our lessons really tied
together, with each portion strengthening the other. I feel our closure question was really thought
provoking and provided insight to an idea that students may not have thought of. I also believe
that our predetermined groups worked very well: dividing the history and math majors amongst
the groups to spread the strengths of the students for the lesson.
One aspect that I feel I need to improve on is time management. The student activity took
longer than I had expected and would have taken even longer had I not made the decision to
move on. That being said, I should have made the decision to move on sooner than I did. I also
feel that I should have provided a slightly more in depth review as many of the students
struggled with making the box plots. Another aspect I feel that I can improve on is checking for
understanding. I feel that I should check more often for student understanding before moving on.
I also think I should have built in more accountability into the group projects by telling them
beforehand that they will have to interpret the box plots and share their interpretations with the
In regards to aspects that could be improved collaboratively, I feel that I could have
assisted more during Ms. Lewis’ portion of the lesson than I did. With how our closure was set
up, I should have allowed her to have more input into the discussion.