You are the researcher!

Downloadable versions of this activity are available in the following formats: (RTF formatPDF format)

Census at School Canada has heard rumours about some strange and interesting trends in your class. You have been asked to analyse your class and report back about anything that you find. After scratching your head for some time, you have decided to use the Census at School data to research your class more closely. What will you find out??

Getting Started

Step 1:

Look at the Census at School data table for your class. 

Also, look at the printout of the Census at School questionnaire.

Step 2:

Decide on an interesting question that you can answer with a column or two from the data table

On the detachable slip at the bottom of this page, write your question and the columns of data that you will use. Hand it in today.

Step 3:

Begin the project. Instructions are on the next page.


Detach and hand in


Name: (-----) Class on Day (-----) Period (-----)

Question: (-----)

Columns of data you will use:

Label (-----) Letter (-----)

Label (-----) Letter (-----)

You are the researcher!
Census at School

Your Report!

The report consists of 4 pages:

Page 1: Title page

Make up an interesting title and also write your question. Make the page bright, neat and colourful.

Page 2: The data

Copy or glue the columns of data that you are using.
Create a tally and frequency table. Include the relative frequencies (percentages) in your table as well.

Page 3: The graphs

Create 3 different types of graphs to display your data.
You must include:

  1. a circle graph with calculations
  2. a bar graph (regular, double or triple) or a histogram, whichever is most suitable
  3. your choice of a pictograph, a line graph or a stem-and-leaf plot.

Page 4: The conclusion

In complete sentences, respond to the following questions:

  1. Choose one of your graphs and describe it.
  2. Which of the 3 graphs do you feel shows your data in the best way and why?
  3. Which of the 3 graphs is least effective for presenting your data and why?
  4. Explain your choice of intervals for the bar graph or histogram or the choice of symbols on the pictograph.
  5. What is the answer to your question? Fully describe how you reached this conclusion.

See examples of student projects.

See evaluation guide (Word 38 kb)

Contributed by Angela McCanny, Census at School resource teacher, Ottawa, Ontario

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