What's In A Name

Australian curriculum number (ACMSP171; ACMSP172)

Students examine trends in the names of students in the class, as well as trends in popular names from 2017 and 1957. They look at data associated with these names and explore the use and significance of the mode as a measure of central tendency.

This sequence is for students who:

  • are familiar with measures of central tendency, including mean, median and mode.
  • have some familiarity with spreadsheets.
  • can use statistics to creatively interpret data.


Lesson 1: How Popular Are We?

Students review the 100 most popular boys’ and girls’ baby names for 2017, use spreadsheets to analyse these names, and compare their findings to the names of students in the class or school. There is a focus on finding meaningful ways to evaluate the datasets, as students use modal values to develop new representative ‘composite’ names.

Lesson 2: How Popular Were They?

Students compare datasets of popular names in 2017 and 1957 to see how the popularity of names has changed over time. They hypothesise about the reasons for these changes.


Last updated June 21 2020.