To get students reflecting more closely on sources, it is a good idea to get the class to anticipate what they are going to say before showing them. The method by which this can be done with textual sources is the subject of this post.
With statistics, this can be done in the form of a quiz.
Get students to guess the statistics. Tell them what the actual figures are.
Students then calculate the difference between each pair of numbers and add these together. The lower the overall ‘score’, the better the result.
I have used this with statistics about industrialisation in the UK 1750-1900 and voting statistics in the French National Assembly about whether King Louis XVI should be deposed, exiled or executed. The example below is a particularly effective example to help students determine how popular the policy of appeasement was with the British public before World War Two: