I emphasized that there are 5 syllables so you need 5 points. I had the students hold up their fists and then count off with their fingers while saying, Box and Whis-kers Plot over and over, and over.
After going over vocabulary and doing some easy examples, I had the students access their own measurement data located in our Google Spreadsheet. My students always care more (and remember more) about anything if it has something to do with them.
We have two sections of 6th grade. For homework I assigned the students to make TWO box and whiskers, one for each section of the class.
The next day in class I put students plots up on the Elmo to compare the heights of each class. They love showcasing their work and comparing the two sections.
We then did a kinesthetic activity by making a human box and whiskers plot.
- I had all of the students line up from shortest to tallest.
- I asked then what points we plotted first (extremes) and had those student step forward.
- Then, we found the median and had that student step forward.
- I asked the shorter end, “Who are you?” and they yelled, “The lower set of data!” and then we found the lower quartile and had that student step forward. I did the same thing with the upper quartile.
In one class the numbers worked out and we did not have to average any two students to find the quartiles. In the other class, it did not, so we had two students stand in a line. We joked that we added them up and split them into two. (“I’ll stand on your head. No, you can stand on my head!”) It was fun!
Students enjoyed the human box and whiskers plot. They got to move around plus it was very visual. With the numbers taken out, I feel like some students really understood what was going on instead of just marking off numbers looking for the median.
Next year… I am going to use something (yarn maybe?) so we can actually “box” the students into their quartiles and make the whiskers. I could also cut out construction paper “dots” for the students who step forward to hold. This would also be a cute instructional iMovie starring the students.