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Lesson Plan: Cumulative Frequency

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to draw a cumulative frequency diagram and how to use it to make estimations about the data.


Students will be able to

  • construct a cumulative frequency table from a grouped frequency table,
  • draw a cumulative frequency diagram as a smooth curve,
  • interpret a cumulative frequency diagram to estimate the frequency of occurrence of a given event,
  • approximate the median, upper and lower quartiles, and the 𝑝th percentile of a data set using a given cumulative frequency diagram,
  • construct a box-and-whiskers plot from a given cumulative frequency diagram,
  • compare two different data sets using their cumulative frequency diagrams.


Students should already be familiar with

  • grouped frequency tables,
  • the mean, median, and quartiles,
  • percentiles,
  • constructing box-and-whisker plots.


Students will not cover

  • histograms,
  • the frequency polygon or ogive,
  • relative frequency,
  • descending cumulative frequency graphs,
  • using linear interpolation to estimate the median and quartiles.

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