I used this activity twice. I first gave it to students before we had started the unit on measures of center and spread. I told them that there were six high school seniors that had been identified by recruiters to play for the UCONN Basketball Team. Unfortunately, there were only scholarships for two players. They had to work with their group to pick the two players using the data I gave them, and create a poster defending their choice. We followed a 5-practice routine discussion structure, and I found that their responses gave me great insight into how to navigate the next two weeks of instruction.
I also gave this activity to students as an assessment when we were finishing up measures of center and spread. This time, I told them that none of the prospective players got recruited. They now had to play the role of angry parent and explain to me why their son should have made the team. I assigned each group a prospective player, read through the scoring rubric, and sent them on their way.
This time, I had the groups present out to the class. The class also had a chance to ask questions and respond. Here's the best line from that class:
Brendan is a great player, and you should choose him, because if you remove those two outliers his average increases. He just had a couple of bad days, and those days skew the data.
What happened on those days?
His dog died.
What about the other day?
His dog died... twice.