More Practice with Box Plots
Video Solutions to help grade 6 students learn how construct a box plot from a 5-number summary and interquartile range.
Plans and Worksheets for Grade 6
Plans and Worksheets for all Grades
Lessons for Grade 6
Common Core For Grade 6
New York State Common Core Math Module 6, Grade 6, Lesson 15
Lesson 15 Student Outcomes
• Given a box plot, students summarize the data by the 5-number summary (Min, Q1, Median, Q3, Max.)
• Students describe a set of data using the 5-number summary and the interquartile range.
• Students construct a box plot from a 5-number summary.
Lesson 15 Summary
In this lesson, you learned about the 5-number summary for a set of data: minimum, lower quartile, median, upper
quartile, and maximum. You made box plots after finding the 5-number summary for two sets of data (speeds of
birds and land animals), and you estimated the 5-number summary from box plots (number of Tootsie Pops people
can hold, class scores). You also found the interquartile range (IQR), which is the difference between the upper
quartile and lower quartile. The IQR, the length of the box in the box plot, indicates how closely the middle half of
the data is bunched around the median. (Note that because sometimes data values repeat and the same numerical
value may fall in two sections of the plot, it is not always exactly half. This happened with the two speeds of 50
mph – one went into the top quarter of the data and the other into the third quarter – the upper quartile was 50.)
You also practiced describing a set of data using the 5-number summary, making sure to be as precise as possible-
avoiding words like “a lot” and “most” and instead saying about one half or three fourths.
Lesson 15 Classwork
You reach into a jar of Tootsie Pops. How many Tootsie Pops do you think you could hold in one hand? Do you think the
number you could hold is greater than or less than what other students can hold? Is the number you could hold a typical
number of Tootsie Pops? This lesson examines these questions.
Example 1: Tootsie Pops
As you learned earlier, the five numbers that you need to make a box plot are the minimum, the lower quartile, the
median, the upper quartile, and the maximum. These numbers are called the 5-number summary of the data.
Ninety-four people were asked to grab as many Tootsie Pops as they could hold. Here is a box plot for these data. Are
1. What might explain the variability in how many Tootsie Pops those people were able to hold?
2. Estimate the values in the 5-number summary from the box plot.
3. Describe how the box plot can help you understand the difference in the number of Tootsie Pops people could hold.
4. Here is Jayne’s description of what she sees in the plot. Do you agree or disagree with her description? Explain your
“One person could hold as many as 42 Tootsie Pops. The number of Tootsie Pops people could hold was really
different and spread about equally from 7 to 42. About one half of the people could hold more than Tootsie
5. Here is a different plot of the same data on the number of Tootsie Pops people could hold.
a. Why do you suppose the five values are separate points and are labeled?
b. Does knowing these data values change anything about your responses to Exercises 1 to 4 above?
Exercises 6–10: Maximum Speeds
The maximum speeds of selected birds and land animals are given in the tables below.
6. As you look at the speeds, what strikes you as interesting?
7. Do birds or land animals seem to have the greatest variability in speeds? Explain your reasoning.
8. Find the 5-number summary for the speeds in each data set. What do the 5-number summaries tell you about the
distribution of speeds for each data set?
9. Use the 5-number summaries to make a box plot for each of the two data sets.
10. Write several sentences to tell someone about the speeds of birds and land animals.
Exercises 11–15: What is the Same and What is Different?
Consider the following box plots, which show the number of questions different students in three different classes got
correct on a 20-question quiz.
11. Describe the variability in the scores of the three classes.
a. Estimate the interquartile range for each of the three sets of scores.
b. What fraction of students does the interquartile range represent?
c. What does the value of the IQR tell you about how the scores are distributed?
13. The teacher asked students to draw a box plot with a minimum value at 34 and a maximum value at 64 that had an
interquartile range of 10. Jeremy said he could not draw just one because he did not know where to put the box on
the number line. Do you agree with Jeremy? Why or why not?
14. Which class do you believe performed the best? Be sure to use the data from the box plots to back up your answer.
a. Find the IQR for the three data sets in the first two examples: maximum speed of birds, maximum speed of
land animals, and number of Tootsie Pops.
b. Which data set had the highest percentage of data values between the lower quartile and the upper quartile?
Explain your thinking.
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