Secondary Mathematics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Middle School
Lesson Plan, utah-ipad-lesson
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Education Standards

Using iPad for Analyzing Data

Using iPad for Analyzing Data


This lesson plan allows students to choose a numerical data set and analyze the data with the Numbers app on an Apple iPad.


Image credit: "iPad" by Sean MacEntee , CC By 2.0 , from Flickr


This lesson is designed for a 7th grade mathematics class learning about measures of center using an iPad. Students will gather data and record their data in the Numbers app. Using the app, they will quickly generate measure of center (such as mean and median) and also create a box and whisker plot. 

  • Time frame: 45 - 60 min
  • Format: synchronous


Background for Teachers

Educators will want a background in how to use the Numbers app on the iPad. (This resource could help if you are not familiar with the app)

You will also need knowledge of measures of center (mean and median) as well as knowledge of the 5 numbers summary used to create a box and whisker plot (Min, Q1, Med, Q3, Max).



Step 1 - Goals and Outcomes

Learning Intentions:

  • Students will be able to use measures of center and measures of variability for numerical data (Standard 7.SP.4)

Success Criteria:

  • Students will gather data and use measures of center to compare data using the Numbers app on the iPad


Step 2 - Planning Instruction

Student Background Knowledge

  • Prior to this lesson, students will need to have an understanding of Standard 6.SP.3
    "Recognize that a measure of center for a numerical data set summarizes all of its values with a single number."

Strategies for Diverse Learners

  • Teachers could model a chart in the Numbers app that could be used for a given numerical data.   
  • Teachers can verbally state all steps to engage in this learning activity and provide written instructions to follow along with for students.
  • Teachers could consider assigning what numerical data set each pair of students will gather. This would allow for less confusion among some groups of students.

Step 3 - Instruction

Divide the class into groups of 2 (or 3 depending on needs of your class). Each group will need access to an iPad. 

The students will be working on gathering data. The students will pick from a list of possible choices for the numerical data they would like to gather. Those choices are:

  • Height of each student
  • Arm Span of each student
  • How many siblings does each student have?
  • What time do you go to sleep on average?
  • How many sports does each student play?
  • How many pairs of shoes does each student own?
  • (Any other data that is numerically driven)

Once each group picks a data set they would like to consider, they will get out their iPad and go to their Numbers app. You will then assign each group a number. In the first column of their numbers app, have the students record how many groups there are in the class. If there are 10 groups in the class, have the students number their first column with the group numbers 1 - 10. Once they have a number for each group, they can then circulate around the room gathering their numerical data from each group. 

Once they have gathered all of their data, have the students use the Numbers app to determine the mean and median of the data. Then, have the students play around with different chart types within the numbers app (column chart, bar chart, line chart etc.) The students will determine which chart is most interesting to them and write down 2-3 sentences on any relationships they notice from the chart they chose. The students will then present their findings to the rest of the class. (This is easy to do if you have access to an Apple TV hooked to your projector).


Example of student work


Step 4 - Assessments

Students will be assessed on this assignment based on the following rubric:

Students gathered numerical data of their choice: 1     0

Students used the Numbers app and determined the mean and the median: 1    0

Students used the Numbers app to display the data in a chart of their choice: 1      0

Students explained why they chose their chart type: 1       0


Example of student work