Lesson: Pictographs

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Lesson Objective

Students will read and interpret a pictograph.

Lesson Plan


Do Now

Give an index card to each student. Ask them to write their full names on the cards. Say, "How many vowels are in our names? Are there more names with one to three vowels or with four to six vowels?"

Ask them to record the number of vowels in their full names on the card.


Explain that they will show that data in a pictograph. A pictograph uses pictures to show data.

Teacher Input

Draw four lines on the board and label the rows:

1 - 3
4 - 6
7 - 9
More than 9

Ask students what the title of the pictograph should be. Enter their suggestions above the graph.

Tell students to come up one by one and draw a star in the row that tells how many vowels are in their full name. When each member of the class has recorded his or her data point, invite students to discuss what they notice from the pictograph. Encourage them to make comparisons between the rows as well as telling the number of stars in each row.


Ask, "How many people does each star represent?" Model how to create a legend at the bottom of the chart. Repeat with pictographs to answer the questions students pose. Ask them to talk about what is alike and what is different among the pictographs.

To avoid large graphs, you may want to help them select appropriate ranges. For example, if they want to explore what letters the names begin with, you may want to group them A â€‘ C, D â€‘ F, and so on.

Format a second chart near the first one. Use a legend that shows that each star equals two students. Ask students what that might mean. [Each star now stands for two students.]

If there are an odd number of stars in a row in the first pictograph, guide students to understand that half a star should be drawn when a star stands for two people.

Guided Practice

Together, make a pictograph using the full-name data. 


 Independent Practice

Ask partners to work together to make a pictograph with the last-name data, using the legend that each star (or other symbol of their choice) stands for three people. When they are ready, call on groups to share the pictographs they made.





Distribute practice sheet.  

Explain sheet to students. 

Allow time for students to answer questions on Pictographs practice sheet.




Tell students to do the following: Turn and talk to a partner about pictographs (tell your partner at least 3-4 things you know about pictographs).

Lesson Resources

IP Pictographs  
Pictograph lesson with Visuals   Lesson Plan


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