I base my statistics unit on the book How to Lie with Statistics, by Darrell Huff, because I think it contains a lot of really important information that everyone should know to live their lives and to stop themselves being taken advantage of. (Which is one of the majors benefits of learning math, as it’s so easy for people who know math to swindle people who don’t.)
The problem is, though, all that important information that I think is so critical is not that important in the minds of the NY Board of Regents. Last year I went ahead and taught the whole unit around it anyway, but I’ve learned the errors of my ways when I found that my students were lacking in, say, the ability to make a box-and-whisker plot.
To compensate, I (along with my fabulous co-teacher) did a one-hour lesson that I broke up into stations, with each station representing a different “Lying Technique” that I wanted the students to learn about. (I had already covered The Sample with the Built-in Bias and The Well-Chosen Average as a normal lesson prior, because those are still relevant topics.) Each station lasted about 10 minutes, with some time for wrap-up and transit.
I also did this to support the project I had them working on, which is the topic of another post.
Stations in pdf form.
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