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CensusAtSchool Australia

Education Services home page > CensusAtSchool home page > Year 7 Resources


Back to CensusAtSchool home page CasEco53 - Comparative Shopping

You can download this activity as a rich text file (RTF) using the links at the bottom of the page

1. Subject Area

Studies of Society and Environment / Human Society and its Environment - Economics

2. Suggested Level

Years 8-10

3. 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

4. Overview

In this activity you are asked to create two Christmas brochures for the Zen electronic trading company. This will involve using information from a variety of sources, such as, advertising flyers/catalogues and CensusAtSchool data.

CensusAtSchool provides a small window into the lives and habits of Australian school children. The CensusAtSchool questionnaire has some questions that will be a useful source of information for your investigation.

5. Requirements

  • Computer with internet connection
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Calculator
  • Pens and paper
  • Student Worksheet

6. Instructions

The Zen electronic trading company wants to produce some Christmas brochures which effectively advertise their merchandise to Australian families. The executives of the company can afford to produce two brochures. They are not sure which of the following options would be most effective:

Option 1: Produce one brochure for rural communities (postcodes 2711-2880) and the second brochure for urban communities (postcodes 2140-2163); Note that a maximum sample size of 50 students can be generated for these postcodes. OR

Option 2: Produce one brochure for communities with a high percentage of people born overseas (postcodes 2140 - 2190) and the second brochure for communities with a low percentage of people born overseas (postcode ranges 2749 - 2774). Note that a maximum sample size of 80 students can be generated for these postcodes. OR

Option 3: Produce one brochure for family communities with at least one primary aged child (Year 6 and under) and the second brochure for family communities with at least one secondary school aged child (Year 7 and over).

The executives have heard about the CensusAtSchool project and they think this data would help them decide what electronic products to include in their brochures and which of the above options would be most effective. They have asked your class to investigate these options and produce some sample brochures for their consideration.

6.1 Background Research

Working in groups of four or five students, choose one option from the list above.
6.1.1 Go to the CensusAtSchool website and use the Random Sampler to obtain two separate samples for your chosen option. Use these data samples to examine the popularity of various electronic entertainment devices, and the time spent on various activities.
Use graphical representations of the data to compare the two samples.
( Hint: It will be easier to count the number of students in each category if you sort the data first. If you are confident at using Excel it will
be even easier if you use the COUNTIF function to do the counting for you)
6.1.2. What other information from your CensusAtSchool data samples could be used to help you?
6.1.3 Using brochures from other stores and your own product knowledge, determine appropriate brands and prices for your brochure.
6.1.4 Study various advertisements and brochures. What is it about their design that makes them appealing to students?

6.2 Develop Brochures

Based on your research, develop two brochures. To save time, divide your group into two sub-groups (2-3 students each) and then each subgroup can do one brochure. Discuss your final brochures within your group. How and why are they different?

6.3 Present Brochures

Present your brochures to the executive (your teacher and the rest of the class) for consideration. Your presentation should explain how and why the brochures are different and why your chosen option will result in the most profit for the company.

6.4 Group discussion

7. Extension

You could look at other pairs of options for comparison, for example: Eastern Australia and Western Australia or households with pets and households without pets, females and males.
7.2 You could investigate whether an online or a hard copy brochure would be best.

8. Marking criteria

A student demonstrates Mark
    • Produces two high quality professional looking brochures
    • Comprehensively engages the CensusAtSchool database
    • Identifies a range of similarities and differences for each community
    • Provides a thoughtful and well considered explanation for differences between the communities
    • Uses graphs and statistics accurately to illustrate findings.
    • Produces two well designed brochures
    • Effective use of the CensusAtSchool database
    • Identifies similarities and differences for each community
    • Provides an explanation for differences between communities
    • Provides some graphs and statistics to support writing.
    • Produces two satisfactory brochures
    • Makes limited use of the CensusAtSchool database.
    • Identifies some similarities and differences for each community
    • Provides an explanation for some differences between communities
    • Provides some examples of relevant graphs and statistics.
    • Brochures are of poor quality
    • Obtains only a small amount of data from the CensusAtSchool database
    • Identifies some similarities but few differences for each community
    • Provides limited explanation for some differences between communities
    • Provides some graphs and statistics of limited relevance.
    • Brochures not complete
    • Makes reference only to the CensusAtSchool database
    • Identifies few similarities or differences for each community
    • Provides minimal explanation for some differences between communities
    • Provides graphs and statistics of minimal relevance.

9. For the Teacher

Please make sure there is at least one group looking at each option so that the three options can be discussed and compared during the discussion at the end of the activity.
9.2 If students are having difficulty identifying other CensusAtSchool information that could be useful, you might like to suggest they look at the questions about (i) number of bedrooms (ii) number of people in household (iii) Internet access (iv) reaction time and (v) travel time. Do these factors have an impact on what electronic entertainment devices would be used?
9.3 You may like to ask students to start collecting brochures which advertise electronic entertainment devices, about a week before you start this activity.

Download the Activity

Student Worksheet

Data in a spreadsheet

(Choose the spreadsheet that suits your investigation)

Data in a table

(Choose the table that suits your investigation)
(RTF document 113 KB)

(Excel document 574 KB)

(Excel document 390KB)

Sample PrimarySecondary Child COMPARATIVE SHOPPING.xls
(Excel document 389KB)

(RTF document 243 KB)

(RTF document 223KB)

Table PrimarySecondary COMPARATIVE SHOPPING.rtf
(RTF document 224KB)

Commonwealth of Australia 2008

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