Maths and Statistics in Lockdown

Stage 4 lockdown has meant many of us have taken up new hobbies with all our extra time at home. This month my cooking exploits made for an interesting Statistics lesson starter for Year 8s.

Behold this “jar graph” of all the jams/jellies/chutneys that I have boiled up over the last 6 months. 

Year 8s were asked whether this was an accurate representation of how much cooking I’ve been doing. We made the following statistical observations:

  • The most productive months were April, July and August, most likely due to stay-at-home orders during these months.
  • This is definitely a “jar graph” not a “histojam”, firstly because jams are not the only thing present in the data, secondly because it represents categorical data, not numerical data.
  • The scale is not very accurate as the jars are all different sizes, the April and July columns should be the same height as the frequency is the same for these two months.

After discussing the “jar graph”, we decided we had better fix it so we used our knowledge of bar graphs to make it a more accurate representation.

A bar graph made in class by 08MAT1c.

A beautiful pictogram style graph drawn by Katy Do 8A.

Emma Griffingham
Maths teacher