. Grade 6, Illustrative icon

Is It Center or Is It Variability?

Illustrative MathematicsVaries

The purpose of this task is to challenge students to think about whether they should be most interested in the center of the data distribution or in the spread of a data distribution in order to answer a given statistical question. Many students get the impression that center is the most important characteristic of a data distribution and always focus on center when presented with a data distribution. This task could be used as the basis of a classroom discussion in order to help students see that some questions are answered by considering variability rather than center.

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