What are the chances?

People frequently use statistics to lend credence to a point: however, numbers don’t necessarily denote facts. Misrepresented numbers give false impressions that may be entirely meaningless.

A simple check of the validity of a statistic is to ask how believable it is. This test requires nothing more than common sense and rudimentary math skills to determine the plausibility of any claim.

In this activity, student pairs or trios work to review multiple claims that are supported by statistics and decide if those claims are plausible.

The Assessing Numbers Instructional Activities are continually reviewed. If you use this activity, please complete a Feedback Form afterward.

Standards: CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP3, Grades 6 – 8

Objective: Given several examples of claims supported by statistics, students will identify which of these claims are plausible.

Teacher Resources

Activity materials may be accessed in any order by clicking on the appropriate link. You may find it useful to start with the Activities Directions link to get a sense of the activity itself before looking at other sections.

  1. Preparation
  2. Activity Directions
  3. Assessment
  4. Extensions

Full Activity Plan pdf

Student Resources

This site is meant to be used by teachers. Student Resources are provided, but please do not direct students here. Copy and paste the link to the handout and whichever of the Online Resources you want students to use on your classroom webpage, in your classroom area of the school’s Learning Management System, or wherever you distribute digital materials to students.

  1. Unbelievable! Handout
  2. Online Resources

Susan Brooks-Young: sjbrooksyoung@gmail.com