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## Teacher’s notes

Have your students use a computer spreadsheet to do the calculations for this activity.

Other activities:

- Have your students debate which is the best measure—mean, median or mode.
- Discuss with your students limitations of sample sizes and data collection.
- Ask your students what can be said about each of the measures of central tendency in a normal distribution.
- Have your students write a newspaper article on the size of Canadian households.
- Discuss with your students possible biases in the term ‘Canadian household.’

### Possible responses for Question 2:

Measure | Advantages | Disadvantages |

Mean | – gives an overall description of the data
– isn’t affected by sample size as much as the other measures of central tendency |
– does not provide any information regarding the distribution of the data or frequency of responses |

Median | – tells you what the halfway point is in the data (you know that half of the data is larger than this value and half is smaller) | – does not give any information about how much larger or smaller the values are on either side of the median, the frequency of responses or the difference between them |

Mode | – tells you what the most common response is | – in a small sample size, this measure can be misleading
– does not provide any information about the distribution of the data |

### Curriculum outcomes

- determine, from a set of data, the mean, range, median and mode
- recognize that the data collected are affected by sample size
- determine and use the most appropriate measure of central tendency in a given context .