Box Plots on the TI-83 Calculator

Box Plots on the TI-83 Calculator


Course(s)/Subject(s): Middle School Mathematics 8 and Algebra I

Grade Level(s):
8 and 9

Key Words: hyperlink, browser software, search engine, html, box plot, statistics, upper extreme, lower extreme, median, upper quartile (Q3), lower quartile (Q1), outliers, interquartile range, mean, and mode, Internet, TI-83.

Developer(s) Name: Linda Cable

School: Washington Irving Middle School

Attached Files: Information and Data Sheet.

Plots and Analysis

Approximate Time Frame: 2 45-minute class periods.

Materials/Equipment Needed: Computers with Internet access, TI-82 or TI-83 graphing calculators

Description of Lesson (includes context): The students will research box plots on the Internet. The students will then gather real life statistics. The students will analyze the collected statistics by making multiple box plots on the TI-83 calculator and comparing the one variable statistics.


1. What is the objective of this lesson? The students will make comparisons, predictions, and inferences based on their analysis of the sets of real life data that they have collected in their Internet search.

POS Standards: Algebra-Data Analysis
Middle School Mathematics 8- Statistics and Probability

VA FCPS POS Benchmarks: Algebra-Students gather, organize and analyze data algebraically, numerically, and graphically using models and simulations of real world phenomena.
Middle School Mathematics 8- Students interpret graphs including bar, circle, double stem and leaf plots, scatterplots and stacked box and whisker plots.
-Students create statistical graphs using numeric and nonnumeric data.

VA FCPS POS Indicators: Algebra- Students will compare multiple one variable data sets using statistical techniques that include measures of central tendency, range, stem and leaf plots, and box and whisker plots.
Middle School Mathematics 8- Students will interpret information from a stacked box and whisker plot.
-Students will make appropriate graphs from numeric and nonnumeric data.
-Students will compute measures of central tendency.
-Students will interpret information from data analysis.

VA SOL(s) (including Computer/Technology):
Computer Technology C/T8.4 The students will process, store, retrieve and transmit electronic information. The students will use search strategies to retrieve electronic information.
Algebra- A.18 The students will compare multiple one variable data sets, using statistical techniques that include measures of central tendency, range, stem and leaf plots and box and whisker plots.
Middle School Mathematics 8- 6.18 The students, given a problem situation, will collect, analyze, display and interpret data in a variety of graphical methods, including stem and leaf and box and whisker plots.
-6.19 The students will describe the mean, median, and mode as measures of central tendency and determine their meaning for a set of data.
-7.19 The students will create and solve problems involving the mean, median, mode and range of a set of data.
-7.20 The students will display data, using frequency distributions, line plots, stem and leaf plots, box and whisker plots and scattergrams.


2. What will we examine as evidence of students knowledge and/or skill?

Product(s): The students will document the answers to the questions asked on the Internet research worksheet and the statistical data that they collect from the Internet. The answers will include the URLs where the information and data were found. The answers will include an explanation of the path taken to find the web page(s) with the information. The students will use technology vocabulary in their answers. The students will use the TI-83 graphing calculator to construct multiple box and whisker plots. They will sketch the box and whisker plots on their paper. The students will construct a back to back stem and leaf plot from the data that they have collected. The students will write a paragraph that compares and analyzes the information from the box-plots and stem and leaf plots.

Performance(s): The students will do an Internet search for information about box and whisker plots and stem and leaf plots. The students will use the TI-83 graphing calculator to make box plots from at least two different lists of data. The students will use the TI-83 to compute one variable statistics. The students will sort the data in the lists to determine the mode and to more easily use that information to make a back to back stem and leaf plot.

Prerequisites: The students should have some prior knowledge of the vocabulary used for Internet research. The students should have experience with the TI-83 graphing calculator, and at least one previous lesson on the use of the TI-83 to make statistical graphs. SEE DIRECTIONS TO THE TEACHER BELOW.


3. What exactly will the students and teacher do during the lesson?

Directions to students for proceeding with the lesson:

  1. Enter the two sets of data into L1 and L2 respectively on your TI-83 calculator. Use this information to make two boxplots. Use the TI-83 to sort the information and to compute the 1 variable statistics.
  2. On the Plots and Analysis sheet, transfer your box and whisker plots from the TI-83 to the paper (with a scale). After sorting the lists in the TI-83 use them to make the back to back stem and leaf plot on your paper. Using your box plots, stem and leaf plot and measures of central tendency, summarize your data by analyzing the statistics and making comparisons between the two sets of data.

Directions to teacher/administrator using the lesson.

  1. Discuss Internet vocabulary with your students before this lesson. Prior to the first day of this activity, I gave my students the sample questions for the SOL technology tests that can be found in the MS Technology folder on First Class. We used these questions as a springboard for discussions about the Internet terminology used as well as the other topics covered. I emphasized the use of the words hyperlink/link, browser (I asked them what browser we were using), search engine ( I asked them to name some search engines that were not on their screen right now), and html. Many students knew what we were talking about and they helped others who may not have the same access to computers at home and therefore do not have the same comfort level with computers.
  2. Go over the information and data sheet with the students to be sure that all students understand the expectations. The students only have one forty-five minute class period in the computer lab for this lesson so it is important that they complete the tasks within that time.
  3. On day 2, review the process of making a box plot on the TI-83 with your students. The students did not begin this activity without prior knowledge of the TI-83. The students will transfer the graphs that they make on the graphing calculator to paper, they will use the graphing calculator to generate one variable statistics and to organize the data in each list so that they can make a stem and leaf plot.
  4. Finally, the students will analyze the plots and the statistics that they have generated and make inferences, comparisons and summarize the data.
  5. The analysis may have to be completed as a homework assignment.

See the attached worksheets:
The Information and Data sheet
The Plots and Analysis sheet


4. What options in presentation(s) and/or response(s) are suggested in order to provide the opportunity for all students to demonstrate achievement of the benchmark(s) and indicator(s)?

The teacher could provide the students with Internet sites for finding the data and the information necessary to answer the questions.

The teacher could do a demonstration of Internet research before taking the students to the computer lab by using a TV hooked up to a computer.

The teacher could provide the students with the Internet addresses (URLs) for several choices of statistics such as Sports Illustrated, or USAToday.

The teacher could ask everyone to find the same data on the Internet. Hard copies of the data could be made available to students who do not find everything within the allotted time.

The teacher could lead the students through the process of graphing the box plots on the TI-83, and sorting the lists, and computing the 1 variable statistics.