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Catholic Education South Australia
  • A collection of objects can be classified and sorted in different ways; classification is the first step in the organisation of data 
  • Data is gathered and organised to answer questions  
  • Data sets can be analysed in various ways  
  • Measures that describe data with numbers are called statistics 
  • Data can be organised in various graphical forms. 

Inquiry Question

How does representing data in different ways allow us to make sense of our world?



ABC Education

Graphs can be used to illustrate the relationship between two variables. Watch this fun animation from NASA to learn the basics of graphing. 

Link: ABC Splash

CESA Numeracy Investigation

Australian Curriculum Lessons: Ice cream Maths Lesson-Collecting and Displaying Data

This lesson steps students through the data collection and recording process. Students have been hired as ice-cream inventors.  As the new inventor, they are responsible for inventing a new ice-cream flavour that has never been thought of before. They will survey a group of students to find out which ice-cream flavour is to be invented. 

Link: Australian Curriculum Lessons

NRICH: If the World Were a Village

NRICH task: If the world were a village data representation task based on the book, 'If the World Were a Village' by David J Smith and Shelagh Armstrong.  



Knovva Academy YouTube Video: If the world was only 100 people.

Link: YouTube

Cool Australia: Roots and Shoots-Exploring Community Data

Students will select an environmental or conservation related issue and collect data to show how the choices and behaviours of members of the school community contribute to the issue. They will work collaboratively to select an issue, identify key facts, develop survey questions and carry out the survey. Students will then collate, present and share their data with the class. 

Link: Cool Australia

Digital Technologies Hub: Rubbish Recording and Reduction

Students survey and collect data concerning what is brought to school each day and subsequently becomes rubbish. They then use Excel to present that data in a variety of different ways.  These lesson ideas could be used at school or at home. 

Link: Digital Technologies Hub

Advice for Teachers

Data analysis is more than calculating statistics and creating displays. The first goal for students is to formulate questions that can address the overarching question as part of the data collection process. When students formulate their own questions, the data they gather becomes more meaningful. 
After information has been collected, students need to decide how to classify or categorise the data to make sense of it. 
A conceptual idea of data analysis is the shape of data, a sense of how data are spread or grouped, what characteristics they have, and what they tell us in a global sense. Exploring graphical techniques will support students to visualise the shape of data and understand the best representation. 
Numbers that describe the data are called statistics and are an important way to describe the data and quantify some attributes of the data. 
Adapted From: Van De Walle. J and Lovin. L, Teaching Students-centred Mathematics (2006)