Ghostly Graphing

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Students will be able to sort objects by colors and arrange their results in a simple graph.

Big Idea

Students continue to expand their learning of sorting by color by graphing the results of their sort.


5 minutes

To help the students focus on our math topic, I gather them around the SMARTBoard and we bring up the Harry Kindergarten song Colors! Colors! that is found on YouTube.  Click on the link to find the song.   The students do the actions that are asked for on the screen.  I really like this song because it reminds the children we will be talking about colors but it also appeals to the kinesthetic needs of my students.  As we know, 5 and 6 year olds really need to move.  I find that give them the opportunity to move at the beginning of the lesson, really helps them to stay focus during the instruction portion.


15 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, I use my SMARTBoard.  If you have a SMARTBoard, the file can easily be downloaded and opened.  If you have a different type of interactive whiteboard, you can still use this lesson by opening the file in Smart Notebook Express.   There is also a PDF of the slides so you can recreate this part of the lesson.

I gather my students in front of the SMARTBoard.  I have cards with each student's name printed on.  These cards are used for selecting who will come up to the SMARTBoard.

You will notice the SMARTBoard lesson is very similar to the previous day.  I did this so the students could understand how creating a graph can be a great way to sorted groups for counting and comparing. 

I open the first slide (SMARTBoard Slide 1) with the lesson objective written in "student friendly" terms.  There is a content objective and a language objective to help focus on vocabulary expansion for my English Learners (ELs) to be congruent with SIOP instructional techniques. I read these objectives aloud for my students.

Content Objective: 

I can sort a group of objects by color. I can arrange a group to make a graph.

Language Objective: 

I can tell a friend if a group of objects is sorted and graphed correctly.


Slide 2: I sorted these objects into groups.  Now I want to organize them in a way that makes them easy to count and to compare.  

Slide 3:  I can use a graph.  (A student shouts out...That's a ten frame).  Yes, it looks like a ten frame, but a graph is different.  Just like a ten frame, it helps us organize for counting, but there are some differences.  A ten frame has two rows of five.  A graph might have more than two rows and it might have more more than five spaces on each row.  I am really glad you remembered the term "ten frame"!  Right now, we are going to organize the objects into the graph.  I invite a student to come up and drag all the green objects into the graph and then all the red objects.  We count and compare and then look for the group that has more.  I say to the students, It is so much easier for me to count and compare the objects when they are represented on the graph!

Slide 4:  Do you remember we sorted these shapes into two groups yesterday?Let's try sorting them into a graph instead.  Again I invite one student per color to move the objects into the graph.  I have another student count the number of items.  This time I as a student to circle the number that shows the group that has less.

Slide 5: How many groups are shown on this graph?  That's right, three.  I see that there is a label for three different colors on my graph (count and point 1, 2, 3).  Let's place these objects in the graph.  As above, students come up and sort.  I ask questions about which group has the most and which group has the least number of objects. 

Slide 6:  Now let's sort real world things into a graph.  Again, one student comes up per color to place the items on the graph.  Another student comes up and counts and totals each color.  I then invite a student to come up and circle the group that has the least number of objects.  I want to continually have the students compare the groups and get familiar with the math language.

Slide 7:  Now it is Turn and Talk Time.  The students have an assigned Turn and Talk partner.  This is a chance for us to talk about our math concepts with a friend and practice using our math vocabulary.  I say to the students, My friend sorted these objects.  Did he do it correctly?  What mistake did he make?  I want you to talk about it with your turn and talk partner. (MP3) When they are done, I call on a student to share what was discussed in their group.  I then say to the students.  This person did not place the objects on the graph correctly.  The cow was in the wrong row in the graph.  I have the students repeat the final sentence.  It is important for them to use the word "row"  and "graph" as they are terms they need to become familiar with.

Guided Practice

10 minutes

For this portion of the lesson, you will need the Graphing Frogs recording sheet.  Make one copy per students.  If you do not have frog counters, you can alter the sheet so it has bears, fruit, buttons, whatever type of counter you use.

You will need to organize your counters.  I use Dixie cups that I reuse.  I count the correct number of counters into the cups.  You will need one set of cups that has 2 red bears and 3 yellow bears (per student).  Another set will have four green and 5 blue bears per cup/student. 

I tell the students that we are going to graph frogs.  I give each of them the recording sheet and have them put their name at the top.  I have the color the top frog  in the gray box in the first graph red and the bottom frog in the graph yellow.  I have them point to the frog with their finger before coloring.  We do the same on the bottom with green and blue.

I pass out the cups of frogs.  I tell them that we are going to sort and organize these frogs into a graph.  I tell them to place the red frogs on the squares where they colored in the red frog and the yellow frogs on the squares where we colored in the yellow frogs.  I circulate around the room as they do this.  A common mistake is to place a frog on the labeled frog. 

I then say to the students, "We are going to color in the squares that have frogs on them, just like we did when we had our ten frame.  I will move  a frog, color in that space and then put it in my cup.  I need to color the red frog spaces red and the yellow frog spaces yellow.  I will continue until I have colored in the spaces that have frogs sitting on them.  I do not color in any more."  I monitor the students as they complete this step. 

"Now, we are going to write how many frogs are in each row.  Remember, we don't count the labeled frog in the gray box."   We count together and I have them record the number of frogs.  I then ask them to circle the number that of the group that has more.

We repeat the above process with the green and blue frogs.  This time they circle the group that has less.

When they are done, I collect the frogs and and have them put their papers in the mailboxes.

Independent Practice and Informal Assessment

10 minutes

For this part of the lesson, you will need the Graphing Ghosts activity sheet for each student.  You will also need Jet Puff Marshmallow Ghosts (available at Halloween).  If you do not have access to the marshmallow ghosts, there are colored ghosts included in the activity sheet.  Print the ghosts with a colored printer, laminate and cut them out and use them instead of the marshmallows.

I count out 7 marshmallows out for each student (making sure every student has some marshmallows of each color) and place them in snack size Ziploc bags. 

I distribute the Graphing Ghosts activity sheet to each student.  I ask them to write their name at the top of the paper and put their pencils down.  I have them color the first ghosts in the gray box orange and the second ghost brown.  We do not color in the third ghost so it can be the white ghost. 

I explain to the students, "We are going to make a graph of ghost marshmallows.  I am going to give you a small bag of ghosts.  I want you to place the ghosts on the graph, next to the graph labels we colored in.  After you have ghosts on the graph, you will move and color in the orange and brown ghosts.  We won't be able to see the white ghosts if you color it in white, will we?  Instead of white, we are going to use gray for the white ghosts so we can see them. I then want you to circle the number that shows which color you had the most of."

I watch as the students arrange the ghosts on the graph, making sure they are starting from the left side.  As they complete their work, I check for accuracy of graph placement and counting.  I have the students out their completed work in the mailbox.