Greedy Gordy Can't Decide - Working with Venn Diagrams

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Students will be able to work with and interpret data from a Venn Diagram

Big Idea

Students have been working with pictographs and bar graphs. Now they take their learning a step further by working with Venn Diagrams.


5 minutes

For this lesson, you will need a copy of the classroom book, Greedy Gordy Can't Decide, included as a PDF.  Print the file on a color printer.  I laminate the pages for durability and bind it with a comb binding machine.  Book rings would also work well. You will also need an overhead or white board maker (fine point vs. broad point) for the students to write with in the book if it is laminated.  Make sure to clean the book as soon as you are done so it erases completely.

I gather my students around my big chair and begin show them our story.  I say, Do you recognize the character on the front cover of our book?  That's right!  It's Greedy Gordy!  We have a new story about Gordy.  The title of the story is "Greedy Gordy Can't Decide."  What does it mean when you have to decide about something?  That's right.  You need to pick one thing or another.  On the front cover of the book it says, "Chicken or Burgers?  How can I chose just one?"  Okay, since I read that and I know that Gordy loves food, I am going to make a prediction that Gordy needs to decide which one to eat.  Do you think my prediction will be right?  Let's find out.

I begin to read the story to the students in my best weasel voice.

Page 1:  "This is Weasel.  Weasel likes to do surveys.  He records the answers he gets"  Do you remember what a survey is?  If someone is taking a survey, they might ask you questions about what you like best and they write down your answer.

Page 2:  "He makes graphs showing the results of the surveys."  Let's see..What did the people like best?  Chicken or burgers?  That's right.  Can you tell me how many people picked burgers?

Page 3:  "But Weasel has a problem.  He asked Greedy Gordy what he liked better, chicken legs or hamburger.  Gordy couldn’t decide!"  I read the speech bubble in my Greedy Gordy voice, "I love them both!"  

Page 4:  "But…I can only fill one box per person on the graph.  I can’t fill two boxes for Gordy. What am I supposed to do?"  I then read the speech bubble, "This is a real problem."

Page 5:  "So Weasel went to Professor Fish.  Professor Fish is very smart.  He would be able to help Weasel."  

Page 6: "Professor had a solution for Weasel’s problem. In a very academic voice I read, "You need a Venn Diagram."  A Venn Diagram.  I wonder what that is?

Page 7:  "This is a Venn Diagram We can record survey answers on it."  I point as a I read, " If someone likes chicken, we put an X here in this space of the graph."  I see a picture of chicken on this part of the circle, so it make sense that I would put an X here if someone likes chicken.

Page 8:  "If someone likes hamburger, we put an X here in this space of the graph."  Okay, I see a picture of a hamburger here, so that's how I know the X should go there.  

Page 9:  I read the text in the speech bubble, " So that takes care of chicken and hamburger, but what about both?"  I then read, " If someone likes both, we put an X in the middle space."  I see, so the parts of the circle that cross over is where you would put the X for someone who likes both.  This seems pretty easy!

Page 10: "Let’s try it!  Bessie the Cow likes chicken."  I read the sign.  "No burgers!  Eat chicken."  I wonder why her sign says that? hamburger is made from cows.  

Page 11:  "So if she likes chicken, do you know where Bessie’s X goes?"  I invite a student to come up and put an X in the correct place in the Venn Diagram.

Page 12:  "Clara the Chicken likes hamburger."  I read the sign, "No to chicken.  Yes to burgers!"  Hmmm..I wonder why Clara wants hamburgers?  What do you think?  I think you are right.  She is a chicken, so she wants people to eat hamburgers instead of chicken.

Page 13: "So where does Clara’s X go?"  I invite a student to come up and mark an X in the appropriate spot.  

Page 14:  "And Greedy Gordy likes BOTH!"   Now, where would you put Greedy Gordy’s X? I invite a student to come up and mark the Venn Diagram with Gordy's choice.

Page 15:  "So with a Venn diagram Gordy doesn’t have to make a choice...but maybe he should!"  I see that Gordy is standing on the scale and he is saying, "Yikes!"  

We then move over to the Smartboard for the instruction portion of the lesson.



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.  Click here to download. There is also a PDF of the slides so you can recreate this part of the lesson.

Content Objective
I can read and record data on a Venn Diagram.

Language Objective
I can tell a friend what data is on a Venn Diagram.


Slide 2: This is a Venn Diagram.

Slide 3:  I can use this when I have some information that fits into more than one group.

Slide 4: This is a survey I am doing.  I am asking if people like hot dogs or hamburgers.

Slide 5: If I ask someone and they respond hot dogs.  I put the X in the yellow.

Slide 6:  If I ask someone else and they say pizza, I put the X in the red space.

Slide 7:  If I ask someone and they say both, the X goes in the orange space.

Slide 8:  Let's see if we can do our own Venn Diagram.  What do you like better, juice or milk?  I invite 10 students to come up and line up by the Smartboard.  I have the students announce to the class their preference and guide them to put the X in the correct space on the Venn diagram.  I tell the students that they then need to put an X in the box above the diagram.  I tell the class when the boxes are full, our survey is done.

After the survey is done, we then discuss the results as a class.  I ask the students questions about the Venn diagram using our comparing vocabulary words:  more, most, greater, less, least, fewer, fewest and equal.  I repeat the responses in complete sentences.  "More children like pizza than hot dogs."

Slide 9:  I took the color away, can you still figure out where your answer goes?  What do you like better, carrots or peas?  I follow the same procedure as above.

Slide 10:  It is Turn and Talk time.  The students get a chance to practice their academic vocabulary with other students. I ask the students to hold hands with their turn and talk partners and hold them in the air so I can make sure that everyone has a partner.  I say to the students, I asked some students what they liked better, cauliflower or broccoli?  Look at the results.  What can you say about cauliflower based on this graph?  I give the students time to talk and then I call them back together.  I call on students to share what they came up with.  I hear, "No one likes cauliflower".  I ask the students to support their answer.  The students point out that all the Xs are on the broccoli side and none are on the cauliflower.  Another student points out that none are in the middle. That would mean they would like cauliflower if it was there.  I summarize their idea into a complete sentence that I have them repeat.  "Zero students like cauliflower."  I like to use the word zero to help them connect to that number.  After the students repeat the sentence, we go to our seats for guided practice. 

Guided Practice

10 minutes

For this part of the lesson you need the Venn Diagram Guided Practice activity sheet included as a PDF with the lesson.  I distribute the activity sheet to the students and tell them that we are going to create our own Venn Diagram.  I have the students put their names on the top of the paper.

I say to the students, We are going to survey ten students to find out what they like better, "Singing, Dancing or Both".  Not everyone will get a chance to respond to this survey but that's okay because we are going to do some more after this one. 

I am going to pick cards to see who will answer (I use my picking cards from the Smartboard to call on students.  I ask them, Which do you like better, singing, dancing or both?  After the student replies, I tell the students to mark that response on the Venn diagram in the correct space and then put an x in the first box.  I remind the students that when the boxes are filled with Xs, we are done.  I circulate around the room and make sure that everyone is checking the correct space.

We continue on with the survey until there are 10 respondents.  I continually move around the room checking their work.   I then have the students total up the number of responses for singing, dancing and for both.  I ask then ask them some questions, How many students liked singing?  How many students liked dancing?  How many students like both?  Which did students like the most?  Which did students like the least?

I have them put the activity sheet in their mailboxes and prepare for independent practice.

Independent Practice and Informal Assessment

10 minutes

For this part of the practice, you will need the Venn Diagram Independent Practice activity sheet included as a PDF with this lesson.  I have each of the students get one of our personal whiteboards to hold the activity sheet while they are conducting their survey.  If you have clipboards for your students, now is the time to get them out!

I tell the students, You will now get a chance to move around the room and do some surveys of your own.  You will record your answers on a Venn Diagram.   We are going to ask our friends, "What do you like better, Pizza, Spaghetti or Both?"  You will record their answer on the Venn Diagram.  After you record an answer, you need to put an X in one of the boxes.  When all the boxes are filled, your survey is done and you can go back to your seat and total up your answers.

You can then start on the second survey which asks, "What do you like best, apples bananas or both?"  Ask ten more students, making sure to put an X in the box after each student.  After ten students, total again.   When you have done that, please bring your paper to an adult to check.

The students move around and survey their classmates as seen in this video clip.

I pass out the activity sheet to the students and have them put their name at the top.  I then invite them to move around the room and survey their friends.  After they have totaled their results, I check their work and ask them questions about their results such as, "What did the students like the most?"  After they are done, I have them put the worksheets in their mailboxes.