Lesson plan

Graphing Data: Tally Marks and Bar Graphs

Collecting and graphing data can be a fantastic tool for getting to know your students and for your students to get to know one another! In this lesson, students will poll their classmates to gather data and then graph the results!
Grade Subject View aligned standards

No standards associated with this content.

No standards associated with this content.

Which set of standards are you looking for?

With the lesson plan, Graphing Data: Tally Marks and Bar Graphs first graders gain practice with collecting and interpreting data using bar graphs! Children will be tasked with analyzing bar graphs and then answering questions about the data. Then, children will collect data from friends and family and organize their information into a bar graph. Once they finish, children will have a better understanding of how to organize, represent, and interpret data—an important skill for young mathematicians to master!

Students will be able to organize, represent, and interpret data using a bar graph with at least three categories.

(5 minutes)
  • Display Beginning Bar Graph: Favorite Cake on the board.
  • Give students time to discuss what they know or notice.
  • Invite volunteers to share their thoughts.
  • Introduce vocabulary words: data, the number collected for analysis, bar graph, a diagram that represents data by the height of lines or rectangles, interpret, understanding the data, and categories, a group of objects linked by a similar trait.
(10 minutes)
  • Go through the Color Bar Graph game with your students to introduce them to bar graphs.
  • As a class, complete the Sushi Chef worksheet.
  • Ask your class what steps they needed to take to make to finish the Sushi Chef worksheet.
  • On the board write: 1. Collect data, 2. Organize data, 3. Graph data, and 4. Interpret data.
  • Refer back to the Beginning Bar Graph: Favorite Cake worksheet.
  • Model the steps the creator of the bar graph probably took to make it.
  • Think aloud to model interpreting the data that the bar graph gives you.
(15 minutes)
  • Tell the class that now that they know the steps for creating a bar graph, they are going to use those steps to find out about the class’s favorite colors.
  • Pass one sticky note to each student.
  • Ask them to write their favorite color on their sticky note.
  • Call groups up to the board to post their sticky notes.
  • Once everyone has attached their sticky note, ask students what the next step is, and how we could figure out which color is the most popular. Encourage students to refer to the steps on the board.
  • Read through the colors. Ask two volunteers to help sort the sticky notes into categories. Write the categories on the board.
  • After the sticky notes are sorted, arrange them into a bar graph configuration on the board.
  • Refer back to the steps on the board and ask which step is next.
  • Ask questions like: Which color is most popular? Which color is least popular? How many more people like red than blue? etc.
(15 minutes)
  • Tell your class that they have created a bar graph using the four steps. Let them know that they are going to follow the same steps to create their own bar graph about the class’s favorite foods.
  • Remind students that they will first need to collect the data on their classmate’s favorite foods.
  • Give each student or group a Tally Chart.
  • Allow 2-3 minutes for students to walk around the room and collect data.
  • Once data is collected, hand out the Favorite Foods graphing paper.
  • Allow students times to organize and graph their data. Rotate around each group to clarify instructions and monitor for understanding.
  • Enrichment: Allow students to work independently during independent working time.
  • Support: For the independent activity, choose only 2 favorite food categories and "other" for the student to graph.
(5 minutes)
  • In math journals or on a separate piece of paper, have students write the four steps to creating a bar graph.
  • Ask students to create their own question they would like answered through the steps.
(5 minutes)
  • Review your class' Favorite Foods bar graphs.
  • Ask questions to guide discussion such as: Which food did you find was the class's favorite? Which was not very popular? How many people liked [a particular kind of food]? How many more people liked [one kind of food] than [another kind of food]? What is something you could use this graph for?

Add to collection

Create new collection

Create new collection

New Collection


New Collection>

0 items