Teaching mathematics
Teaching mathematics

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Teaching idea: People maths

One memorable way to demonstrate the concept of the median number is using a people maths activity.

Described image
Figure 16 Lining up for a maths activity

Ask your learners to line up (Figure 16). Then ask them to get themselves into height order, from shortest to tallest.

The learners at each end of the line (the shortest and tallest learner, respectively) then need to move away from the line at the same time.

This is repeated with the new shortest and tallest learner until there is either one or two learners left. It is important that each pair leaves the line at the same time.

If there were an odd number of learners to start with, you will be left with one learner in the line who has the median height.

If there were an even number of learners to start with, the result will be two learners left in the line.

Rather than having two median heights, the next step is to find the mean average of the two middle heights. This will be the median height of the group.

The range is the difference between the highest and lowest values in a set of numbers.

To find it, subtract the lowest number in the distribution from the highest.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371