Misleading Data – TES Maths Resource of the Week

The following resource has been kindly shared on the TES Maths website. It is available to download for free by registering. And to access all the lovely Resource of the Week (ROTW) resources, just click here

What is it?
There are some topics in mathematics that will serve students well for the rest of their lives. Factorising quadratic expressions is possibly not one of them, but learning to recognise misleading data and judge it with a sceptical eye is certainly one of them. This activity is a superb, engaging, rich way of tackling this subject. Students are challenged to produce a report that makes their product (either a cereal bar, bread, energy, or a box of cereals) look appealing using real life data but in a misleading way. It’ll prepare them nicely for a career in adverting! 

How can it be used?
This activity works well with students working in small groups. They may need a bit of guidance at first, and I recommend showing them examples of misleading graphs at the start of the lesson to provoke discussion about what features of the graphs make them misleading and why have the creators chosen to do this. Two lovely TES resources that may help with this are Misleading Graphs and More Misleading Graphs. If you have access to a computer room, students could produce their graphs on Excel, and create posters using PowerPoint or Publisher. They could also prevent their creation to the class in an Apprentice-style pitch of their products. Bags of potential in this brilliant activity.

Thanks for sharing!
Craig Barton

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