Year level: 4 / 5

Strand: Statistics

Lesson length: 60 mins

In this first of two lessons, students investigate data from animal observations recorded by a video camera. Students take on the role of ‘researchers’ and use secondary data about an endangered Australian marsupial.

In the follow-up lesson Where’s the mankarr? Recording and visualising data, students visualise and interpret the data recorded of their animal observations.

This lesson was developed in collaboration with Caty Morris and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mathematics Alliance (ATSIMA).

ESA would like to acknowledge the Kanyirninpa Judurrpa and Martu peoples as developers of the source material used in the creation of this lesson.

Where’s the mankarr? Video observation data: Part 1 Image

Achievement standard

By the end of Year 4, Students create many-to-one data displays, assess the suitability of displays for representing data and discuss the shape of distributions and variation in data. They use surveys and digital tools to generate categorical or discrete numerical data in statistical investigations and communicate their findings in context. They convert between units of time when solving problems involving duration.

By the end of Year 5, students plan and conduct statistical investigations that collect nominal and ordinal categorical and discrete numerical data using digital tools.

Content descriptions

Students acquire data for categorical and discrete numerical variables to address a question of interest or purpose, using digital tools; represent data using many-to-one pictographs, column graphs and other displays or visualisations; interpret and discuss the information that has been created. AC9M4ST01

Students analyse the effectiveness of different displays or visualisations in illustrating and comparing data distributions, then discuss the shape of distributions and the variation in the data. AC9M4ST02

Students conduct statistical investigations, collecting data through survey responses and other methods; record and display data using digital tools; interpret the data and communicate the results. AC9M4ST03

Students plan and conduct statistical investigations by posing questions or identifying a problem and collecting relevant data; choose appropriate displays and interpret the data; communicate findings within the context of the investigation. AC9M5ST03

General capabilities


  • Interpreting and representing data Level 4


  • Explain the roles and interactions of consumers, producers and decomposers within a habitat and how food chains represent feeding relationships. AC9S4U01

Cross-curriculum priority

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures

  • First Nations communities of Australia maintain a deep connection to, and responsibility for, Country/Place and have holistic values and belief systems that are connected to the land, sea, sky and waterways. A_TSICP1
  • Use observation and informal conversations to gauge students’ understanding of ways to acquire and record data.

Some students may:

  • inaccurately record data of observations and misuse a tally system of recording data
  • not use a scale on the axis to display frequencies and have difficulty constructing a scale on the horizontal or vertical axis to effectively represent frequencies or measurements
  • not realise that the relative lengths of the bars relate to quantities in the collected data
  • not realise that measurement data can be grouped
  • be unable to interpret the meaning between marked intervals on scales of frequencies or measures.

Prior to this lesson, it is assumed that students have knowledge of:

  • recording data in a table
  • tallying observations
  • basic use of a spreadsheet.

What you need: