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Teacher guide reSolve: Sports Salaries

TLF ID M025822

This sequence of two lessons explores data sampling methods and measures of spread applied to a real world context of sporting teams. Students explore variation in the salaries of NBA players using real world data. They calculate means and medians, draw graphs, compare findings, and investigate the implications of obtaining data through random sampling. Each lesson is outlined in detail including curriculum links, vocabulary, materials needed, sample answers, discussion points, spreadsheets of data and student resources. This sequence is part of the reSolve: Maths by Inquiry program.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This resource is valuable for supporting the Statistics and Probability strand of year 8 mathematics. It addresses all four of the content descriptions in the Data representation and interpretation substrand, as the activities give students opportunities to interpret, describe and represent their data about sport player salaries and team performance.
  • The resource is valuable for the year 8 mathematics content descriptions about investigating techniques for collecting data, including sampling and observation and about exploring the implications of obtaining data though sampling. In particular, the lessons invite students to compare their data sets across class sets of samples and interrogate why the samples used produce different results. They then collect data using different constraints, see how different sampling methods affect their data and the conclusions that would be made.
  • The resource is also very valuable for the year 8 mathematics content descriptions about variations in means and proportions from random samples, and the effects of individual data values on mean and median. As students compare their sport team's sample data, they investigate how outliers in salaries affect the means and medians calculated and what the variations in these measures imply for the salaries and performance of their teams.
  • The resource is also valuable for supporting the Numeracy general capability. The lesson provides multiple opportunities for students to compare and interpret data displays of information that they create from their sporting team data sets.
  • This resource is also of pedagogical value as it supports teachers in building an inquiry-focused learning environment with authentic application of mathematical skills and understandings. The unit aims to develop content knowledge as well as assisting students to understand the process of inquiry.
Year level


Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: Education Services Australia
  • Organization: Education Services Australia
  • Description: Data manager
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
  • Copyright Holder
  • Name: Australian Government Department of Education and Training
  • Organization: Australian Government Department of Education and Training
  • Publisher
  • Name: Australian Academy of Science
  • Organization: Australian Academy of Science
  • Description: Publisher
  • URL:
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
Access profile
  • Unknown
Learning Resource Type
  • Online
  • © Australian Government Department of Education and Training 2017. Unless otherwise indicated, this material may be used in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence.