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Lesson plan

Interpreting Data From Surveys Lesson Plan


In this lesson, students will learn how to interpret data from surveys. You can expect this lesson with additional practice to take one `45`-minute class period.

Grade 7
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Students will be able to interpret data from surveys.


  • Teacher slideshow
  • Online Practice

How to Teach Interpreting Data From Surveys


To begin the lesson, encourage students to solve this problem using any method they think will work. Once students have their answers, they should work with a partner to compare their answers and explain how they solved for the answer.

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Student Strategies

As students are sharing their methods with each other, listen to the strategies that students used to interpret the data from the survey so that you can highlight them all when reviewing with the class. Some potential strategies include:

  • Making a ratio table
  • Writing and solving a proportion
  • Determining what fraction of the survey respondents chose fantasy, and then multiplying with the number of students in the school
  • Finding the scale factor from `50` to `200`, then multiplying. 

Although students can use any of the strategies, consider also asking students if they think there may be times that one strategy is easier than another. 

Write an answer sentence “`170` students will choose “Fantasy” as their favorite genre.” Ask them if they agree with the sentence. It is important that students understand these are estimates. They should understand their answer means that about `170` students would have chosen fantasy, but it is not guaranteed. 

Using more complicated values to interpret data from a survey

In this example, the number of people at the movies will end up being a decimal and will help to have the conversation around estimates. Give students a few minutes to try the problem independently and then check their work with a partner. 

Again, students can use any strategy that helps them solve the problem. Some might say `5/30` is `1/6`, so the answer must be `200` divided by `6` while others might set up a ratio table or a proportion. 


Consider using an answer sentence to see if students agree: “`33.33` customers’ favorite food was cotton candy”. Because the answer represents the approximate number of people, students should recognize they need to round up or down to the nearest whole. Remind students that this is not always the case because it depends on the units.

Interpret surveys with more options

Like the previous examples, give students time to try and solve this problem on their own before they check and justify their answers with a partner. 

When reviewing with students, highlight the methods that students chose and let them explain their reasoning. Make sure students are able to explain the difference between just finding an estimate for one category (like pottery) compared to finding an estimate for multiple categories. 

Large population size

Similar to previous examples, give students an opportunity to interpret the data from a survey to solve and check with a partner. You should give students a calculator to work on this problem, if you have not already done so for the earlier problems.


This problem can be modified depending on students’ readiness levels:

  • Struggling students: Encourage them to write a fraction that represents the number of subscribers who drive a sports car out of the number of randomly selected subscribers. From there, they can multiply by the actual number of subscribers.
  • Advanced Students: Ask students to determine approximately how many more subscribers drive a sedan compared to sports cars. You can also ask how many subscribers drive either an SUV or truck so they have to combine groups as well.

Interpreting Data From Surveys Practice

After you’ve completed the examples with the whole class, it’s time for some independent practice! ByteLearn gives you access to tons of mild, medium, and spicy practice problems for interpreting data from surveys. Check out the online practice and assign to your students for classwork and/or homework!

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Interpreting Data From Surveys Practice
Problem 1 of 5
<p>There are `455` dedicated readers of The Adventures of Super Sam graphic novels. In a survey of `65` readers: </p> <ul><li>`14` want their hero to be able to fly,</li> <li>`12` want their hero to transform,</li> <li>`15` want their hero to climb walls and</li> <li>`24` want their hero to vanish anytime he wants.</li></ul> <p>Based on the results of the survey, estimate the total number of readers who want the hero to be able to fly. </p>

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