Quick Questions: Learn About Data

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Source Institutions

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In this activity, learners will collect and analyze data to learn about the people around them. How many letters in everyone’s first name? What’s the most common number of letters? What’s most or least? Start out by posing a multiple choice question. Everyone records answers on a large chart. Then, explore the data. This works well as a family activity or in a public area—museum, library, school building. Post the chart and review answers after at least 100 people have responded. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on Archive.org.]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
free per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • large sheet of paper
  • markers or stickers


  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
    • Number and Operations
      • Operations
    • Reasoning and Proof
    • Representation
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • About Inquiry
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Mixing in Math


  • , © 2010, TERC, Inc., MA., 2010

Funding Source:

  • NSF, ESI-0406675 and DRL-0713537