# Charting Life Expectancy

Subjects

Educational Technology
Mathematics
--Applied Math
--Arithmetic
--Measurement
--Statistics
Health

3-5
6-8
9-12

Brief Description

Compare the ages of people listed in yesterdays obituaries to national (or state) life expectancy figures. How do the numbers compare? In addition, figure the median, mode, and range (optional).

Objectives

Students will

• figure the mean (average) age of people who died yesterday in your area/state.
• figure the median, mode, and range of the data (optional).
• create graphs to illustrate data collected (optional).

Keywords

data, census, life expectancy, average, mean, median, mode, graph, obituary, death, newspaper

Materials Needed

• obituary page from todays paper; one copy per person or group (Option: Collect obituary pages for a month prior to doing the activity, and provide each student with a copy of an obituary page from a different date.

Lesson Plan

The average life expectancy in the United States is 77.9 years. [Source (May 2010, page 12)]

With this fact in mind, have students take the obituary page from todays local paper to see if the average age of the people who died is higher or lower than the national average.

Notes
• Instead of using the average life expectancy (U.S), you might choose to compare deaths reported in the newspaper to the average life expectancy for your state.
• Many newspaper obituaries do not report the age at death. Instead, they report the deceaseds date of birth. If that is the case, students will have to subtract (current year minus deceaseds year of birth) to determine the age at death.
• You might give all students (or groups of students) a copy of the current obituary page, or you might save the obituary pages from your local paper over the course of a month. Give each student the obituary page from a different date. If each student works from a different page, create a class chart to compare data collected.

Students might figure the average (mean), median, and mode of the data for a given date.

• mean (average) add the age at death for each person listed on the obituary page, then divide by the total number of people listed
• median list the ages of the days deceaseds in order. Which age is in the middle? (The median age is the middle value; the number of ages above and below the median should be the same.)
• mode the age that is repeated most often in the days death notices
• range the span between the ages (youngest age at death to oldest age at death as reported in the days obituary page)
• Students might use the free Create a Graph tool to create graphs to illustrate the data they collect.

Assessment

Assess students based on the accuracy of the data they report. Did they figure the average correctly?

Lesson Plan Source

EducationWorld.com

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards

MATHEMATICS: Number and Operations
NM-NUM.3-5.1 Understand Numbers, Ways of Representing Numbers, Relationships Among Numbers, and Number Systems
NM-NUM.3-5.2 Understand Meanings of Operations and How They Relate to One Another
NM-NUM.3-5.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
NM-NUM.6-8.1 Understand Numbers, Ways of Representing Numbers, Relationships Among Numbers, and Number Systems
NM-NUM.6-8.2 Understand Meanings of Operations and How They Relate to One Another
NM-NUM.6-8.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
NM-NUM.9-12.1 Understand Numbers, Ways of Representing Numbers, Relationships Among Numbers, and Number Systems
NM-NUM.9-12.2 Understand Meanings of Operations and How They Relate to One Another
NM-NUM.9-12.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates

MATHEMATICS: Data Analysis and Probability
NM-DATA.3-5.1 Formulate Questions That Can Be Addressed With Data and Collect, Organize, and Display Relevant Data to Answer
NM-DATA.3-5.3 Develop and Evaluate Inferences and Predictions That Are Based on Data
NM-DATA.6-8.1 Formulate Questions That Can Be Addressed With Data and Collect, Organize, and Display Relevant Data to Answer
NM-DATA.6-8.3 Develop and Evaluate Inferences and Predictions That Are Based on Data
NM-DATA.9-12.1 Formulate Questions That Can Be Addressed With Data and Collect, Organize, and Display Relevant Data to Answer
NM-DATA.9-12.3 Develop and Evaluate Inferences and Predictions That Are Based on Data

MATHEMATICS: Connections
NM-CONN.PK-12.1 Recognize and Use Connections Among Mathematical Ideas NM-CONN.PK-12.2 Understand How Mathematical Ideas Interconnect and Build on One Another to Produce a Coherent Whole
NM-CONN.PK-12.3 Recognize and Apply Mathematics in Contexts Outside of Mathematics

MATHEMATICS: Representation
NM-REP.PK-12.1 Create and Use Representations to Organize, Record, and Communicate Mathematical Ideas
NM-REP.PK-12.3 Use Representations to Model and Interpret Physical, Social, and Mathematical Phenomena

TECHNOLOGY
NT.K-12.1 Basic Operations and Concepts
NT.K-12.3 Technology Productivity Tools

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