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Students are introduced to the concept of sampling as a method of determining characteristics of a population. They consider how a sample can be random or biased, and think of methods for randomly sampling a population to ensure that it is representative.The idea of sampling is connected to probability; a relatively small set of data (a random sample/number of trials) can be used to generalize about a population (or determine probability). A larger sample (more trials) will give more confidence in the conclusions, but how large of a sample is needed?Students also discuss what random means and how to generate a random sample. Random samples are compared to biased samples and give insight into how statistics can be misleading (intentionally or otherwise).Key ConceptsRandom samples are related to probability. In probability, the number of trials is a sample used to generalize about the probability of an event. The results in probability are random if we are looking at equally likely outcomes. If a data sample is not random, the conclusions about the population will not reflect it.Terminology introduced in this lesson:population: the entire set of objects that can be considered when asking a statistical questionsample: a subset of a population; can be random, where each object in the population is equally likely to be in the sample, or biased, where not every object in the population is equally likely to be in the sampleGoals and Learning ObjectivesIntroduce sampling as a method to generalize about a population.Discuss the concept of a random sample versus a biased sample.Determine methods to generate random samples.Understand that biased samples are sometimes used to mislead.SWD: Some students with disabilities will benefit from a preview of the goals in this lesson. Students can highlight the critical features and/or concepts and will help them to pay close attention to salient information.
Statistics and Probability
Middle School
Grade 7
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Lesson Plan
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