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Interpreting Box Plots - Data On Camping and Backpacking Goods

Interpreting Box Plots - Data On Camping and Backpacking Goods

Activity Description


Students will review Economic Census data on the number of discount department stores in the United States that sold camping and backpacking equipment in 2007 so they can find the 5-number summaries and create box plots, using techniques such as forming a human number line and folding data sets on strips of paper.

Suggested Grade Level


Approximate Time Required

60 minutes

Learning Objectives

  • Students will be able to create and interpret a box plot of census data.
  • Students will be able to display numerical data on a number line.
  • Students will be able to identify measures of center (median) and variability
    (interquartile range).

Materials Required

  • The student version of this activity, 5 pages.
  •  A printed version of the data cards in the teacher version of the activity
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors for at least each pair of students

Activity Items

The following item is part of this activity. The item, its data source, and instructions for viewing the source data online appear at the end of this teacher version.

  • Group A and Group B Data Strips

Teacher Notes

Blooms Taxonomy

Blooms Taxonomy

Students will understand how to find the values in a 5-number summary and apply this understanding to create and analyze box plots.


Middle School Math


  • 5-number summary
  • Box plots
  • Interquartile range
  • Median
  • Outliers
  • Quartiles

Skills Taught

  • Analyzing data
  • Calculating a 5-number summary
  • Creating a box plot


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