Lesson plan

Making Bar Graphs: Graph It!

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream bar graphs! Students will get the basics of bar graphs down with this lesson that shows how data collection and graph composition works in a classroom setting.
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The students will be able to use a bar graph to represent data.

(5 minutes)
  • Explain to your students that they are going to be asked a question to create a special bar graph for the class.
  • Explain to students how bar graphs help us view data in an organized and readable way.
(25 minutes)
  • Hand out a sticky note to each student.
  • Have the student write their favorite ice cream flavor on the sticky note.
  • Once all students have finished, have the students come up front to place the sticky note on the board.
  • Start reading the sticky notes and organize them into columns by flavor, creating a bar graph.
  • Once you have all the sticky notes organized, use a dry erase marker to create the bar graph with the numbers on the y-axis, or the vertical axis, and the flavors on the x-axis, or the horizontal axis.
  • Once the graph is complete on the board, review to make sure the data is accurate by having the students stand up when you call their favorite ice cream. Have the students who are sitting count the standing students to confirm the graph on the board has the correct data.
(10 minutes)
  • Pass out the My Class Ice Cream Graph worksheet to each student and have them transfer the data from the board onto the document.
  • Have the students designate a color for each flavor to color in the bars of the graph.
(5 minutes)
  • Pass out the Favorite Cake Bar Graph worksheet to each student.
  • Have the students complete the worksheet independently or with a partner.
  • Walk around the room to monitor students and help as needed.
  • Enrichment: Challenge advanced students to create a class or school survey and create a bar graph to represent the data they collected.
  • Support: Partner a student who needs support with a student who is at grade level.
(5 minutes)
  • Use the Beginning Bar Graphs: Favorite Sports worksheet to assess students formally or informally by having them complete the graph independently.
(5 minutes)
  • As a review, repeat the class graph activity by asking the class to write down a different "favorite" on a sticky note.
  • Another review option is to set up a work station with graphing worksheets so students can work on them in a group setting.

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