Creating Graphs: Classroom Scavengers
Students will be able to organize and represent real-world data using graph paper.
Introduction (5 minutes)
- Begin the lesson by writing the following question on the board: "How many letters are in your name?"
- Allow students to turn to their partner and discuss the answer to this question.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (15 minutes)
- Display or project the Classroom Names worksheet and tell students that today they will be creating two different graphs.
- Remind them that a graph sorts and organizes information in a way that is easy for us to read.
- Begin the activity by modeling the proper way to label a graph. Write the word “Names” on the y-axis, or vertical axis, and “Number of Letters” on the x-axis, or horizontal axis, then number the squares 1-14 on the x and y axes.
- Write your name across the x-axis using one square per letter.
- Have students study the amount of letters in your name and discuss their findings as a whole group.
- Then, call names at random or ask for volunteers to write their names on the graph as well.
- Look for learning opportunities throughout the lesson and stop to ask questions or make observations.
- When you have finished calling five different students to the board, bring out three index cards and label them "fewer," "greater," and "total."
- Focus on defining these three vocabulary words and then have students turn to their partners and decide the correct answers for the following three questions: Which name has less letters? Which names have the greatest number of letters? How many people participated in total?
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (15 minutes)
- Inform students that today they will be graphing the following items: desks, windows, doors, book shelves, and tables.
- Display or project a copy of the handout titled Classroom Scavenger Hunt.
- Remind them that to correctly fill out a graph they must first label the y-axis and x-axis correctly.
- Model writing the words “Number of Items” on the y-axis and then explain that the items will be color coded on the x-axis for identification purposes. For example: desks=pink, windows=blue, doors=brown, book shelves=orange, and tables=yellow.
- Model graphing the total number of windows in the classroom by using a blue crayon to fill in the squares.
Independent Working Time (20 minutes)
- Provide a worksheet for each of the students and allow them to work in partners throughout the scavenger hunt.
- Encourage students to walk around the room as they search for data. Remind them to color code and record their findings.
- When finished, have students answer the following three questions on the back of their paper: Which item had the fewest number? Which item had the greatest number? What was the total number of items counted?
- Monitor for progress.
- Enrichment: Challenge advanced students by asking them to add a fourth question on the back of their worksheet that includes the answer to the following question: How many more bookshelves are there than windows?
- Support: Help struggling students understand the concept of graphing by calling them to a small group table and having them sort a bulk of items into paper cups.
Assessment (10 minutes)
- Collect the students’ records and conference with them to provide feedback.
Review and Closing (5 minutes)
- Challenge the students' understanding by asking them to mentally graph one last item in your classroom.