written by: Kathy Foust
• edited by: Wendy Finn
• updated: 9/11/2012
Survey activities for math can be lots of fun if you get creative with your students. Use one or all of the activities below to teach your students about the various aspects of surveys.
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This survey activity for math not only use arithmetic skills, but also reasoning skills as students learn how surveys are used to make decisions. To begin the lesson, ask your students about how they think surveys can be useful in marketing. Some possible answers might be making commercials, testing products, designing product packaging and learning about product demographics.
To demonstrate how this may work, show students an item such as a Quaker Oatmeal container and a box of Frosted Flakes. Ask the students which breakfast food they would be more likely to buy based on the packaging. Chances are it will be the Frosted Flakes. Discuss with students how surveys are used to find out information on marketing, such as interviewing people of various age groups to see which packaging or commercials they find most appealing, then do the activity below.
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Ask students to think of a food product that they could sell to people in their age group. Each student should come up with a different product, but the bulk of the effort should not be placed on the product itself, rather on the marketing. Once students have created a product, ask them to create a survey in order to market the product. Help students to come up with questions for the survey. Some suggestions are listed below.
How may times a week do you eat (similar product to the one they created)?
Would you be more likely to eat it if it came in bulk or in single serving packages?
(Show 3 cartoon characters) Which character would make you want to buy this product more if it were on the package?
How much would you pay for a single serving size of this product?
What is the biggest reason you would buy this product?
What is the biggest reason you wouldn't buy this product?
Ask students to come up with 20 questions similar to the ones listed above. Ask students to interview 20 of their peers about this product.Then, ask them to review their results and use them to answer some of the questions below.
How likely are students to buy this product more than once a week?
What type of packaging was most appealing to students?
What were the most common reasons for buying or not buying this product?
Once students have completed this part of the activity, talk about how likely it is that this product would sell. Then, have students repeat the process by asking the same questions of 10 adults who have children. Compare the results and discuss how likely this product is to sell if the adults are the ones in charge of buying it. Discuss the following questions with students.
What is the reason for interviewing the two different types of people?
What are some reasons that the survey results might be inaccurate?
Based on the surveys, what are some ways that the products can be made more appealing to both groups of people?
Survey activities for math like this one help students to see how surveys are used in real life. Take this opportunity to discuss other types of products and the surveys that may have been used to create and market them.