Lesson plan

Moira's Birthday: Graphing

In this lesson, your students will collect and use real data to create a simple bar graph. They will read a story and visually represent data before finding information on their own.
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Students will be able to create a graph using real data.

(5 minutes)
  • Tell the students to sit on the floor when the month of their birthday is called.
  • Call out or hold up flashcards of the months of the year.
  • When they are all sitting down, show the students the book and ask your students to predict what is going to happen in the story.
(15 minutes)
  • Read Moira’s Birthday.
  • Tell the students that they are going to find out how many students Moira would have had at her party if she were a student at their school.
  • Ask them to guess how many they think there are.
(20 minutes)
  • Give a piece of paper to each pair or group of students.
  • Assign each pair a classroom to go to. Have them ask the teacher of the class how many students there are and write the number and class on the piece of paper. Remind them to walk quietly in the hallways.
  • When they return, record their findings on the board.
  • Using a graph drawn on chart paper or on the interactive whiteboard, explain how to color the graph to show the number of students in the classes.
  • Have students take turns to color in the graph.
(10 minutes)
  • Instruct them to make their own individual charts. Use the template provided.
  • Enrichment: Have students come up with their own questions to ask and record. Encourage them to go around the classroom collecting data. For example, have them survey their classmates about favorite fruit and compare and count how many people like certain fruits.
  • Support: Give the students the Favorite Cake worksheet. Have the students work in pairs, with one holding the page with the graph without showing it to the other student. Instruct the other student to ask the questions on page 2, and have the first student give the answers.
(5 minutes)
  • As they are working, move around the classroom and ask your students questions. Potential guiding questions include: How many students are in Miss Smith’s class? Where are you going to color?
(5 minutes)
  • Looking at the bar graph on the chart paper or whiteboard, ask the students questions about the information. For example: Which class has the most students? Which has the least? How many children are in Miss Smith’s class? How many children are in the whole school?

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