Within this lesson plan students will be introduced to the concept of MAD: what it means, what it says about variability, and how to calculate it. After learning those concepts, they are presented with a combination of six lines plots with different data values on them, and will be challenged to determine, before doing any algebraic work, how to align to those graphs from least to greatest based on their predicted MAD values. Then the students are asked to calculate the actual MADs of each of the data sets, and compare their results to their predictions. This will test how well the students understand what a MAD of different values looks like, and how well they are able to do the necessary mathematical work to calculate the actual MAD of a data set.
This lesson would be rated a 5 in its alignment with GAISE report recommendations and CCSSM Standards for middle school grades. Per the GAISE report, students will be required have to emphasize statistical literacy and develop statistical thinking as they come to learn more about the terms “MAD” and “variability.” They will need the necessary statistical literacy to relate the two terms, as well as do the work to calculate the MAD. It also matches up with CCSSM Standard 6.SP.B.5.C, which states that students should be able to give quantitative measures of center, which they need in order to calculate the MAD, and also should be able to give quantitative measure of variability, which would be the MAD. This lesson also encompasses Standard 7.SP.B.4, which states, “Use measures of center and measures of variability for numerical data from random samples to draw informal comparative inferences about two populations,” by having the students calculate the MADs of different data sets, and using those MADs to determine which data set has a greater or lesser MAD.