This data from the World Health Organisation portrays the growth in the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease. In some countries the pattern appears to be exponential growth. Data is given for the most affected countries and for the two countries in Africa with more than 10 cases.

In one week, new data will be added and it will be possible to see if the trends are continuing.

Discuss the data in your group.

  1. What can you learn from the data?
  2. What do you notice about the heights of the bars when you compare one country to another? What does this tell you about the scales used in drawing the graphs? Did you notice the different scales when you first saw the graphs, and is this misleading?
  3. What do you notice about the data for South Korea?
  4. What should not be assumed about the actual numbers of cases as opposed to the number of confirmed cases?
  5. If the number of cases in Senegal continues to double each day what will the numbers be for the next 10 days?
  6. What influences the spread of the disease and why is this different in different countries?
  7. The way data has been collected has varied in different countries, some testing a high proportion of the population, others only testing serious cases that need hospitalisation. What difference does this make to what can be learned from the data?
  8. If you could ask for one more set of data what would it be, and why?

Click here to download the CORONAVIRUS 13/3/20 worksheet.

Click here for the Notes for Teachers.



One Response to Years 9-12 Coronavirus 13/3/2020

  1. toni says:

    If you use any of this with your learners please share your experiences. One lesson can be on why published statistics can be misleading. Look especially at the scales on the vertical axes of the graphs. The graphs are all the same size and look very similar, but when the numbers are different the scales are very different.

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