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CareerStart lessons: Grade seven

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

Learning outcomes

Students will take a survey and will use frequency tables to display the survey data.

Teacher preparation

Time required for lesson

Approximately 60 minutes

Materials needed

  • Student handouts:
    • Ice cream flavor survey
    • Frequency table example and blank frequency table
  • Student handouts copied as transparencies
  • Overhead projector and pen
  • Chart paper or posterboard
  • Markers
  • Computers with internet access to access information about Market and Survey Researchers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook
  • Optional: If you don’t have access to computers, you may print the information and hand out paper copies to students.


  1. Introduce the lesson by discussing the concept of a frequency table. Project the frequency table example on the overhead projector. (5 minutes)
  2. Have the students brainstorm a list of jobs that might use frequency tables (market analysts, political analysts, sports statisticians, etc.) Access the information about market researchers and have students read about that occupation. (10 minutes)
  3. Project the ice cream survey on the overhead projector and survey the students on their favorite ice cream flavors. Record the students’ responses on the transparency. Have the students fill in the information on their handouts. (5 minutes)
  4. Tell the students that they will take on the role of marketing researchers at an ice cream company. Instruct the students to use the survey data they just collected to create a frequency table showing which ice cream flavors are most popular. The table will be used by the ice cream company to determine how much of each flavor to produce.
  5. Have students work in pairs to create a poster with the frequency table and to design a presentation to deliver to the company. (35 minutes for students to make posters and give presentations to the class)
  6. Wrap up the lesson by reminding the students of the careers they brainstormed at the beginning of the class. Ask the students how frequency tables are used in those jobs. (5 minutes)

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Mathematics (2004)

Grade 7

  • Goal 1: Number and Operations - The learner will understand and compute with rational numbers.
    • Objective 1.02: Develop fluency in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of rational numbers.
      • Analyze computational strategies.
      • Describe the effect of operations on size.
      • Estimate the results of computations.
      • Judge the reasonableness of solutions.
  • Goal 4: Data Analysis and Probability - The learner will understand and use graphs and data analysis.
    • Objective 4.01: Collect, organize, analyze, and display data (including box plots and histograms) to solve problems.
    • Objective 4.02: Calculate, use, and interpret the mean, median, mode, range, frequency distribution, and inter-quartile range for a set of data.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • Mathematics (2010)
      • Grade 6

        • Statistics & Probability
          • 6.SP.5Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context, such as by: Reporting the number of observations. Describing the nature of the attribute under investigation, including how it was measured and its units of measurement. Giving quantitative...