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Back to CensusAtSchool home page CaSMa01 - Eye Colour

You can download this activity, the teacher solutions and the assessment rubric as a rich text file (RTF) at the bottom of the page. Download our printer friendly Prepared Samples as Excel files or access data using the Random Sampler.



Subject Area

Mathematics




Key Statistical Literacy Competencies Addressed
  • Data awareness
  • The ability to understand statistical concepts
  • The ability to analyse, interpret and evaluate statistical information
  • Communicating statistical information and understandings



Overview
This classroom activity involves examining the eye colour of the students in your class. Students are asked to conduct a series of analysis, ranging from simple, using graphs to describe how the student's class compares to a sample population, by: (a) comparing their class data with a hypothetical sample; and, (b) taking a real sample from the CensusAtSchool Random Sampler.



Requirements
  • Computer with Internet connection
  • Spreadsheet software program
  • Pens and paper
  • Worksheet


Instructions

Michael Wonders...

While Michael was filling out the CensusAtSchool questionnaire, he stopped at the question about eye colour and remembered a maths task he had done with his class. In the task he had surveyed the students in his class about their eye colour. He had created a frequency table of the information and drawn a graph of the results. He wondered if all classes would be the same. He then wondered if his class would be a typical Australian class.

When Michael looked back in his book he found the frequency table below.

EYE COLOUR OF STUDENTS IN MICHAEL'S CLASS
Eye Colour
Number of Students
Blue
12
Brown
4
Green
3
Grey
0
Hazel
7
Other
0

He was surprised to find that blue was the most common colour and there were so few with brown eyes.


Task One: Is your class the same as Michael's class?

1. Survey the students in your class to find the most common eye colour. Use the table of eye colour (below) for your class and compare it to the table for Michael's class.

EYE COLOUR OF STUDENTS - Comparing Classes
Eye Colour
Michael's class
My Class
Blue
12
Brown
4
Green
3
Grey
0
Hazel
7
Other
0
Total

2. How do the classes differ?

3. Draw two different graphs to compare Michael's class to your class.
Column graphs, dot plots and pie charts are often used to represent categorical data like eye colour.

Comparisons can be made more easily by having both classes on the same column graph, using a different colour for each class.

4. Is it fair to make comparisons between two classes that have different numbers of students? Give reasons for your answers.


Task Two: Is your class a typical Australian class?

5. Go to the CensusAtSchool web site (www.abs.gov.au/censusatschool) and obtain a sample from the Random Sampler to carry out your investigation. Make sure the sample size is the same size as your class.

6. Prepare a frequency table to record the eye colour of students in your sample.
(Hint: It will be easier to count the number of students in each category if you sort the data first. If you are good at Excel it will be even easier if you use the COUNTIF function to do the counting for you)

7. Draw a graph to represent your random sample.

8. Compare the results for your class with the data sample obtained from the Random Sampler.

9. Explain how your random sample differs from your class survey.

10. Comparing the percentage of student eye colour makes more sense when the group sizes are not the same . Fill in the table below with the data from your class, Michael’s class and the random sampler. Calculate the fraction and then the percentage.
(Hint: to calculate percentage = eye colour total x 100)

EYE COLOUR OF STUDENTS - Percentage
Eye Colour
My Class
My Class Fraction
My class
%
Michael’s Class
Michael’s Class Fraction
Michael’s class
%
Random Sample
Random Sample Fraction
Random Sample
%
Blue
Brown
Green
Grey
Hazel
Other
Total
100%
100%
100%

11. Draw a new graph, this time using the percentage of students instead of the number of students.

12. How does the graph using percentage differ from the earlier graph?

13. What is the advantage of using percentage instead of the number of students?

14. Which set of graphs gives the best comparison between the data for the different classes?




Download the Activity


Student Worksheet






Teacher Solutions





Assessment Rubric






Commonwealth of Australia 2008

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