Lesson Plan: Comparing Two Distributions Using Box Plots Mathematics • 7th Grade

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to compare distributions of multiple data sets using their statistics as well as their visual representations.


Students will be able to

  • calculate the mean and standard deviation of data sets when given the first and second moments and use them to compare distributions of the data sets,
  • calculate the median and quartiles of data sets and use them to compare distributions of the data sets,
  • understand that the use of median and quartiles is preferred when extreme values are present,
  • construct side-by-side box plots when given multiple data sets and compare distributions of the data sets,
  • compare two data sets given their cumulative frequency diagrams on the same grid.


Students should already be familiar with

  • measures of center (mean, median, and mode),
  • measures of spread (IQR, range, and standard deviation),
  • measures of location (percentile and quartiles),
  • outliers using the 1.5 IQR rule,
  • box plots,
  • cumulative frequency diagrams.


Students will not cover

  • examples with only one data set.

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