Lesson plan

Graphing Colored Counters

In this lesson, your students will use the background knowledge that they have about counting and sorting to graph data. They will practice answering questions about the graph!
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Graph My Design pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Graph My Design pre-lesson.

Students will be able to use data gathered to complete a graph. Students will be able to use the data from a graph to answer questions.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Tell your students that today they will use what they have learned about counting, adding, subtracting, and graphing to create their own graphs.
  • Review these concepts with your students.
(15 minutes)
  • Display the graphing template, and review the different parts of the graph.
  • Show students a set of counters from a sandwich bag.
  • Instruct your students to sort by colors.
  • Hold the counters up as you sort them so that your students can count them as you sort.
  • Ask your students to tell you how many groups you sorted.
  • Have your students tell you what you will do with the information or data that you have gathered.
  • Ask for a volunteer to show you how to graph the data on the given graph.
  • Starting from the bottom, use a marker to color in one box for each counter.
  • Bring your students' attention to the information at the bottom of the graph.
  • Inform students that the columns should be labeled with the color.
  • Finally, direct students’ attention to the question part of the worksheet.
  • Have them answer the questions related to the graph that they create.
(10 minutes)
  • Give each of your students a sandwich bag with counters to sort.
  • Instruct your students to sort the items and count how many they have in total.
  • Ask your students to count how many items are in each group they created.
(15 minutes)
  • Inform students that they will create their own graph using counters in the bag.
  • Remind students to refer back to your example if they need additional guidance.
  • Have them fill out the worksheet with their own sandwich bags.


  • Give the students a blank worksheet on which they can create their own graph and questions. Encourage your students to use whatever data they choose, such as comparing ice cream flavors and favorite pets.


  • Use only two different colored counters. Use fewer counters in the sandwich bags (from 2-5).
(5 minutes)
  • Observe your students as they complete the lesson, giving guidance as they work.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask a student to volunteer to show their graphs.
  • Have them show their sandwich bag counters as well, and instruct the rest of the class to check the student's work.

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