Skip to Content

Emergency Rooms Card Sort Activity for Categorical and Quantitative Variables

Looking for a fun way to assess student understanding on categorical and quantitative variables? Check out this card sort activity I created for my statistics classes involving data that could be collected in an emergency room.

Emergency Rooms Card Sort for Categorical and Quantitative Variables

I was very intrigued when I ran across a categorical vs quantitative variables problem set in Rossman and Chance’s Workshop Statistics (4th edition).

I decided it would make a perfect card sort activity for my statistics students. We completed this activity the day after being first introduced to categorical vs quantitative variables with the categorical/quantitative hold-up cards I created.

Emergency Rooms Card Sort for Categorical and Quantitative Variables

I typed up the scenario and variables to sort. I printed them on colored paper, laminated them, and spent waaaayyy too long cutting all of the sets of cards apart.

Emergency Rooms Card Sort for Categorical and Quantitative Variables

Students are given 11 statements that must be classified as either categorical variables, quantitative variables, or not variables. It is this third category of “not variables” that I most love about this card sort activity!

Emergency Rooms Card Sort for Categorical and Quantitative Variables

You can also find this activity and the eleven statements on the Rossman Chance website.

Emergency Rooms Card Sort for Categorical and Quantitative Variables

The scenario card is important because it tells students what the observational units are. We need to keep this in mind at all times in order to classify the variables properly.

Emergency Rooms Card Sort for Categorical and Quantitative Variables

I had students tackle this card sort activity in small groups of two or three. It was interesting to see how each pair/trio of students tackled the task.

Emergency Rooms Card Sort for Categorical and Quantitative Variables
Emergency Rooms Card Sort for Categorical and Quantitative Variables

Free Download of Emergency Rooms Card Sort Activity for Categorical and Quantitative Variables


Emergency Room Card Sort (PDF) (230 downloads)


Emergency Room Card Sort (Editable Publisher File ZIP) (93 downloads)