Musher Graphing Probability

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BSSD Standards Addressed

Math 5.29 - Makes Predictions - Makes predictions based upon and explains data from tables, bar graphs, Venn Diagrams and line graphs

Math 5.30 - Measures of Central Tendency - Determines mean, median, mode, and range from collection of data.

Math 6.16 - Reads and Constructs Graphs - Reads and constructs line graphs, bar graphs, histograms, stem-and-leaf plots, and circle graphs.

Math 6.18 - Presents Probability data - Solves problems involving possible combinations and present a set of probability data using percents, ratios, and/or fractions.

Math 7.16 - Complex Graphs/Charts - Interprets and explains a variety of displays (using charts, circle graphs, frequency distributions, stem-and-leaf plots, scatter plots, and box-and-whisker plots with appropriate scales).

Math 7.17 - Mean, Median, Mode and Range - Determine mean, median, mode, and range from graphs and charts to analyze the validity data.


Two, 60 minute class periods.

Materials Needed


Students will first apply research skills using the Internet to gather statistical information on mushers of the Iditarod Dog Sled Race. Students will then apply the data they have collected in the form of three different pie charts. Students will utilize the pie charts that they have created to enable them to interpret the data to create models that identify all of the possible types of mushers entered in the race. Students will again utilize their pie charts to help them rank the likelihood of meeting a randomly selected musher.



Ask students to write responses to the following questions:

1) What is the most likely identity of the musher that will win the Iditarod Dog Sled Race for this year? Explain why you believe this is true.

2) Which set of identities is the least likely to be found at the race? What factors might limit these mushers from competing in the race?

3) Are there any individual identities that haven’t been discovered? If so, what would the individual identities be?

4) Write your own question or observation about the musher identities.

Teacher Notes

If the above website is no longer active, a PDF copy has been uploaded to the wiki.

Mean, median and mode (5.30, 7,17) is not currently in this lesson, but can be added in easily for the appropriate level.

Complex graphs (7.16 - charts, frequency distributions, steam and leaf, scatter plots and box-and-whisker plots) can be added as additional graphs that need to be created along with circle graphs.



Main source: | Iditarod Probability Written by Paul Miller


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