Lesson 1

Human Box Plot

These materials, when encountered before Algebra 1, Unit 1, Lesson 1 support success in that lesson.

Lesson Narrative

The mathematical purpose of this lesson is for students to remember how to create a box plot, and how to interpret data from an already constructed box plot. The work of this lesson connects to previous work done in grade 6, when students learned how to construct and interpret box plots. In the associated Algebra lesson, students collect data that will be displayed in a box plot.

Throughout this unit, students interpret, analyze, compare, and contrast different representations of data, so students should have an understanding of the characteristics of each representation. In this lesson, students calculate the five-number summary (lower quartile (Q1), upper quartile (Q3), minimum value, maximum value, and median) and create a whole-class human box plot. Students then work together to construct box plots, and engage in a gallery walk to see and interpret one another’s box plots. Students engage in MP2 as they interpret the box plot as it relates to data about their classmates. 

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

  • Construct a box plot from a data set.
  • Determine the five-number summary from a box plot.

Student Facing

  • Let’s recall how to create and interpret a box plot

Required Preparation

For the Human Box Plot activity:

  • Each student will need a slip of paper.
  • Prepare five index cards that are labeled with "minimum," "maximum," "Q1," "median," and "Q3."
  • Make a number line on the ground using thin masking tape (0.5 inch). It should show whole-number intervals and span at least from the lowest data value to the highest. The intervals should be at least the width of a student’s shoulders.
  • Prepare a roll of wide masking tape (2- or 3-inch wide) to create a box and two whiskers on the ground during the lesson.

CCSS Standards

Building On


Building Towards

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Additional Resources

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