This learning activity, called 'Index Challenge' is aimed at introducing the concept of index numbers and showing how they can be calculated.
To undertake the activity you will need the Index Challenge instruction sheet here and the random letter generator available on this page.
Split your class in to small teams. Inform them that they are about to undertake a challenge which involves creating a word from a set of 10 letters randomly generated on screen. There will be six consonants and four vowels. The teacher can decide any other rules, such as prohibiting the use of slang or proper nouns or just insisting that the teacher must have heard of the word before! The teacher can also determine how long the teams have to discuss the letter board and find a word but it is recommended that this is no more than 1 minute.
On completion of the task, the teams will submit their words. Assuming each word is valid, the team will be awarded points depending on which letters have been used. The instruction sheet shows how to calculate a raw score for a word.
At the end of this first round, inform the students that the first raw score is now converted to a 'base' number of 100. Repeat the activity another two or three times and ask the students to work out the index number version of their raw score for each round compared to the original first round score. How to calculate the index version of the score is also explained on the instruction sheet.
Hold a plenary at the end and ask students to discuss the value of altering the raw scores to index numbers. The primary value will be to show how the scores of the different teams can be compared in different ways. For example, a team with consistently high raw scores will see little change in their index numbers whilst a team with an initial poor score may be able to demonstrate significant improvements.
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