*Contributor: Erika Wargo. Lesson ID: 12796*

"Home, home on the range." Are you "at home" working with a range of numbers, like the difference in prices of a new game? Learn the easy way to climb the mountain top of figuring out a range of data!

categories

subject

Math

learning style

Visual

personality style

Beaver

Grade Level

Middle School (6-8)

Lesson Type

Skill Sharpener

What could a mountain range possibly have to do with math? Those mountains sure do range from high to low heights . . .

*Range* is the difference between the highest and lowest numbers in a group of numbers or set of data.

Remember that "difference" means to subtract.

- First, put the numbers in order from least to greatest.
- To find the range, subtract the highest value and the lowest value.

That's all there is to it! Except one thing — when analyzing data, it is important to remember that sometimes the range can be misleading if there are extremely high or low values in the set of data.

Take a look at some examples. Don't forget: the highest value is written first when subtracting.

**Find the range of {4, 6, 5, 3, 10}.**

- First, arrange the numbers in order from least to greatest {3, 4, 5, 6, 10}.
- Next, subtract the highest and lowest value in the set [10 - 3 = 7].

The range is 7.

**Find the range of {-5, -1, 15, 4, -8}.**

- First, arrange the numbers in order from least to greatest {-8, -5, -1, 4, 15}.
- Next, subtract the highest and lowest value in the set [15 - (-8) = 23].

In this problem, the 8 is negative. When we subtract a negative, it is the same as adding the positive number. If you imagine a number line, it is 8 units from -8 to zero, and then 15 units from zero to 15. The range would be 23 in this case.

**Henry played a new game and recorded his scores. What is the range of his game scores?**

**89, 73, 56, 101, 91**

- First, arrange the numbers in order from least to greatest {56, 73, 89, 91, 101}.
- Next, subtract the highest and lowest value in the set [101 - 56 = 45].

The range of his game scores is 45 points.

Discuss the following questions with your parent or teacher:

- What is the range?
- How is the range found?
- What should you do with the numbers before you find the range?

Now that you know what "range" is, move on to the *Got It?* section to practice finding the range by playing "What a Deal!"