Back to basics

17th January 2014 at 00:00
Averages, mean, mode, median, range - some of the dullest lessons ever inflicted upon students, right? Think again. These resources prove that any topic can be made fun, playful and imaginative

1 A la mode

What is it? A cut and paste activity that gets students to identify the correct mean, mode and range for each table of football results

What users say "Excellent. Cutting and sticking is such a welcome alternative to writing stuff down all the time."


2 All the range

What is it? Tasks to help students explore mean, median, mode and range, and the relationships between them

What users say "A great little activity that really helps you to understand the effect of the averages and range on the shape of a bar chart."


3 What frequency?

What is it? Revision of calculating averages from frequency tables - students must complete the answers and put them in the correct order

What users say "Cool idea for a twist on some revision work."


4 Pigs might fly

What is it? Learn about data sets by deciding whose results are best: boys, girls, babies, robots, monkeys, Martians or flying pigs

What users say "Fantastic activity - it went down really well with my students. The data has been very carefully selected to show some interesting patterns."


5 Eerie averages

What is it? An adventure game in which students make their way through a haunted house by answering questions on averages

What users say "A super resource. The students loved it."


6 Auction action

What is it? A puzzle that tests students' knowledge of averages by looking at prizes donated to an imaginary charity auction

What users say "Brilliant resource! Worked very well for the top set."


7 Play your cards right

What is it? A game that involves finding different averages using playing cards

What users say "A fun way to practise averages. I also sent the game home for homework so parents could play it with the children."


8 Amazon explorer

What is it? Students find the mean from a frequency table by using review scores for mobile phones and CDs from the Amazon website

What users say "An excellent way of livening up a boring topic. This will engage students."


9 Mean machine

What is it? Five spreadsheets that require students to enter numbers to reach a given mean, mode, median and range

What users say "Brilliant for bringing problem-solving into data handling. Lovely thinking skills involved. My class and teaching assistants will enjoy this challenge."


10 Puzzle it out

What is it? A Tarsia jigsaw activity on calculating different kinds of average (mean, median and mode) and range

What users say "Great resource for averages. A perfect starter or plenary activity."


Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today