Is the answer 3, 3,5 or 5? Make three columns on a large sheet of paper, and label them 3; 3,5; and 5. Look at the words and numbers on the small cards and work out what the answer is. Place each card in the appropriate column.
The teacher leads a discussion about the different types of averages, and about the meaning of the term ‘range’, and explains what the learners should do: decide which category each set of numbers falls into and then place the card accordingly. She or he can use some of the big cards to model the activity. Then the students work in small groups. After the learners finish the activity, the teacher holds a class discussion aiming to draw out something about the students’ own learning and to think about the bigger conceptual issues such as the fact that the different averages serve different purposes and that sometimes it is better to use one average and other times it is better to use another one.
Note: This activity was designed as a formative assessment activity, in order to to provide the teacher with information about the learners’ current levels of understanding.