Lesson plan

Interpreting Data Using Graphs

Engage students in learning about data by analyzing picture graphs, then collecting data from classmates and making their own graphs!
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Students will collect and interpret data.

(10 minutes)
  • Ask, “What is your favorite kind of pizza?” Have students raise their hands to share. Write answers on the board. When multiple people answer with the same kind, write a tally mark next to the kind of pizza.
  • After several students have answered, say, “There’s an easier way to collect information, or what mathematicians call data, about this question. Let’s raise our hands when we hear our favorite kind of pizza.”
  • Have students raise their hands as you say the following kinds of pizza: cheese, pepperoni, veggie, and “other.”
  • Ask students which was the most popular kind of pizza and to explain how they know.
(10 minutes)
  • Explain that sometimes mathematicians use graphs to show the data they collected. On chart paper, make a picture graph showing the data on favorite pizzas that you collected. Draw one pizza for each response. Ask kids to answer basic questions about how many people like each pizza, which was the most popular, etc.
(10 minutes)
  • Tell students that they are going to look at data collected by another class. The class surveyed each other about their favorite fruits. Hand out the Reading Picture Graphs: Favorite Fruits worksheet. Have students look at the data that was collected and answer the questions.
(20 minutes)
  • Tell students that they are now going to collect their own data about favorite fruits. They will each decide which of the following fruits is their favorite: Apple, orange or strawberry.

  • Hand out the Collecting Data About Favorite Fruits worksheet. As a class, ask students which their favorite fruits are. Write the data collected on the board, which students can then use to create picture graphs on their worksheets.
  • Enrichment: Have students come up with an additional survey question to ask the class, representing the collected data on a picture graph.

  • Support: Have students work with a smaller data set, only representing the answers of a small group of students instead of the whole class.
(5 minutes)
  • Assess students’ understanding by having them share their Collecting Data About Favorite Fruits worksheet with a partner.
(5 minutes)

Have students share out their answers to the questions on the Collecting Data About Favorite Fruits worksheet.

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