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Wealth of Nations

What does a fair wealth distribution look like?

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Wealth of Nations

What does a fair wealth distribution look like?

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What does a fair wealth distribution look like? In the United States, 10% of families own more than 70% of the total wealth. In other places, though, the wealth distributions looks very different...for both good and ill.

Students use mean, median, histograms, and box-and-whisker plots to compare how wealth is distributed in different countries and debate the pros and cons of their ideal distribution.

REAL WORLD TAKEAWAYS

  • The typical impression of wealth distribution in the United States is different than the actual distribution
  • In the United States, the richest 1% control 40% of all the wealth. The bottom 80% control only 7% of the wealth.

MATH OBJECTIVES

  • Calculate mean and median; determine which measure of central tendency is most appropriate
  • Interpret and create box-and-whiskers plots

This complex task is best as a culminating unit activity after students have developed formal knowledge and conceptual understanding.
Lesson gauge advanced
Grade 6
Data & Distributions
Lesson gauge advanced
Grade 6
Data & Distributions
Content Standards 6.SP.3 Recognize that a measure of center for a numerical data set summarizes all of its values with a single number, while a measure of variation describes how its values vary with a single number. 6.SP.4 Display numerical data in plots on a number line, including dot plots, histograms, and box plots. 6.SP.5 Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context, such as by: (a) Reporting the number of observations. (b) Describing the nature of the attribute under investigation, including how it was measured and its units of measurement. (c) Giving quantitative measures of center (median and/or mean) and variability (interquartile range and/or mean absolute deviation), as well as describing any overall pattern and any striking deviations from the overall pattern with reference to the context in which the data were gathered. (d) Relating the choice of measures of center and variability to the shape of the data distribution and the context in which the data were gathered.
Mathematical Practices MP.4 Model with mathematics. MP.3 Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.

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