Sample Virus Lesson Plans

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Lesson plans for a Univariate Data Analysis unit used at Ft. Lupton Middle School for 7th Grade Math. Developed by Krista Marshall and Darrel Stice.

Key concepts for Unit

  • Sampling
  • Univariate Data Analysis
  • Statistical Tools (measures of central tendency)
  • Graphical Representations (dot plots, box plots)

Unit Outline

  • Day 1: Classroom
    • Pre-test (pdf | word doc): material includes creating a scatter plot, drawing line of best fit and finding equation; using equation to make predictions
    • Unit Introduction/Suggested instruction:
    • Virus Simulation Unplugged activity for acting out a virus outbreak (appx 45 minutes)
  • Day 2: Computer Lab
    • Why simulations? Introduction to simulations (prezi presentation in a zip archive): doing real statistics - e.g. Global warming (NCAR), virus, forest fires – can’t or shouldn’t do in real life
    • Introduce pre-built AgentSheets Contagion/Virus Simulation to use for data collection. If time permits, the students can build their own simulation from scratch before data collection.
    • Data Collection: Students run several trials of the simulation at different inoculation rates. The results (total dead) are recorded on the data collection sheet (pdf | word doc) and students find an average of the trials for each rate of inoculation. The average values by inoculation rate are then recorded in a class data set.
  • Day 3: Classroom
    • Finding Means
    • Data Compilation on newsprint posters
  • Day 4: Classroom
    • Use data to learn box-plots
    • Overlay box-plots on dot plots from earlier data compilation
  • Day 5: Classroom
    • Unit review


Lappan, G., Fey, J. T., Fitzgerald, W. M., Friel, S. N., & Phillips, E. D. (2006). Samples and Populations: Data and Statistics; Teacher's Guide. Boston, Mass.; Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson/Prentice Hall.