Using Mean, Median, Mode, and Range through Basketball

Grade level: 8th grade

Materials: paper, pencil, sports section during basketball season

Objectives: The students will be able to calculate the mean and range. Students will also be able to recognize median and mode by viewing statistics.

Mathematical concepts: mean, median, mode, and range

NCTM Standards: Standard 10 Statistics


1) Explain the meaning of mean, median, mode, and range, and how to calculate them.

Mean- average, add list of numbers and divide by number of elements.

Median- middle number. If it is a even numbered list, take the middle two numbers, add them and divide by two.

Mode- most frequently used number.

Range- the difference between the highest number and the lowest number.

2) Put a list of numbers on the board (about 10) and calculate mean, median, mode, and range.

3) Do one more example and let the students lead you though.

4) Take out the sports section and go to the pages on basketball. Ask students if they viewed any games yesterday, and discuss them. Find the favorite teams of the class, and use them as examples. Look at a game with a box score. A box score will list all the players on the team and the points they scored. For example, in today's paper Florida Southern defeated Barry 76-66. For Barry the box score read, Tampa 17, Greene 8, Williams 6, Phiefer 6, Allick 12, Dubois 5, Reese 2, Hernandez 10.

5) The box score can be put into a list to calculate mean, mode, median, and range. First put the list in order.

For example from Barry's box score: 2, 5, 6, 6, 8, 10, 12, 17

From this list the Mean=8.25




6) Ask the students to pick another game. Make a list from the box score and compute mean, median, mode, and range. Have the students explain how they got their answers and what they mean.

Evaluation: Give students a copy of the pages of the sports section containing basketball box scores. Have students choose 5 games, list the box score, and compute mean, median, mode, and range for each. An optional exercise would be to pick another sport in the sports page and use the statistics listed to find mean, median, mode, and range. For example, in football, the students could make a list of the number of points each team scored. From this list, mean, median, mode, and range can be calculated.

References: Miami Herald or local newspaper

Contributors: Major: Kari Kupfer

Minor: Carol A. Marinas