We just discovered a fun way to learn about statistics. With a set of Dragonistics cards, published by Statistics Learning Centre, we had access to a large amount of data without having to conduct surveys ourselves. The free printable resources at the Statistics Learning Centre website provided several ready-to-use activities and lesson plans for learning about statistics with the cards.
Dragonistics cards enabled my daughter to quickly conduct "surveys" and do statistical analysis on the characteristics of a large population of dragons. Each card displays a unique dragon with varying characteristics, including name, size, strength, color, sex, personality, age, and breath. She used the cards to make bar graphs comparing characteristics in her dragon population. Then she developed hypotheses concerning her dragon population and was able to evaluate each hypothesis (such as female dragons are more cheerful than males or green dragons tend to be larger than red dragons) by sorting and arranging groups of cards. When I sorted my cards attempting to answer the same question, our conclusions sometimes differed just as results would differ somewhat in real life. This was an effective way to demonstrate sampling error and variation.
The cards come in a nice box and are sturdy and colorful. They are ideal for making quick bar graphs or sorting into Venn diagrams. The set is designed for classroom use and there are plenty of cards for several groups of children to use, but we found the activities very easy to adapt for individual use as well and is appropriate for elementary aged students and up. I’m even hoping that we can incorporate them into a high school statistics course next year. This is a unique product that we will enjoy using!