Would you rather be a kid or a grown up?

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SWBAT identify how many total data points are in a data set.

Big Idea

Would you rather be a kid or a grown up? This question interests students and engages them in an interesting graphing exercise focused on how many total data points there are in a graph.

Setting Up the Learning

5 minutes

This lesson really allows students to practice MP2, Reason abstractly and quantitatively. Students have to understand that the "5" votes doesn't mean there are 5 children, but rather that they represent 5 people who voted for children. They have to understand that counting all of the boxes will show them the total number of votes from real, actual people! Those numbers mean something! This is actually a huge concept for young children to learn!


We have looked at how we make graphs and how we can use graphs to help us understand things about our class. Today we are going to use our graphs to help us figure out how many people voted in our data set.


Graphs are very important because they help us understand information quickly. Graphs are like pictures that help explain what we are learning about our survey question.


Your thinking job today is: How many people voted in total? 

Data Collection

15 minutes

Today's survey question is: Would you rather be a kid or a grown up? 

I'll have students vote as a class and I'll record the data in tally marks.

Focus Questions: 

  • What do each of these tally marks represent? One grown up? 
  • What are the categories we will need for our graph? 
  • What would be a good title for this graph? Remember that a good title tells our audience what this data is all about.

After we record the data, I'll have students record the findings on their own individual graphs. On their graphs, they will record how many people voted for each and color in the bar graph. They will also write their own title for their graph and the categories under each column.

If students finish early, I will have them write what they learned about our class from this graph on the back.

Go to this link for the blank graph!


Data Analysis and Share

10 minutes

I'll have students come back together for the data analysis portion and we will create the same graph on chart paper. The focus of this time is how we figure out how many total data points, but I will also review some of the other important data analysis questions we have already learned. 

I am choosing to display the data as a pictograph to just expose students to another form of graphing. Common Core only requires students to be able to use bar graphs, however this is a great time to show them another way to graph the same information! See the attached picture for an example!

We will also spiral in the Operations and Algebraic Thinking standards by attaching number sentences to our data.

Guiding Questions:Some of these questions will be discussed in partner groups for students to practice explaining their thinking, a key aspect of the Common Core shift.

  • Why did we write "Child" and "Grown Up" under the columns?
  • How could we use this graph to help us figure out how many people voted?
  • How many people voted for Child? How many voted for Grown Up? How many voted in all? 
  • What number sentence could we write to tell how many people voted in all? Would we use a + or a -? Why?


After we do our data analysis, we will end with our objective so students are prepared to tackle this on their own.

Partner question: How did we figure out how many people voted in all? 

Independent Practice

15 minutes

Students sort, record and graph data from another first grade class who answered this same questions. All students are expected to explain in writing how they found the total number of data points, which is aligned to the CCSS focus on writing across the curriculum.

Group A: Intervention

These students have a lower total number of data points.

Group B: Right on Track

Students receive 20 data points. Students record how they figured out how many total data points, and also record a number sentence to match. They answer other data analysis questions, spiraled throughout this unit.

I have students record an equation for this because it is an easy way to spiral in Operations and Algebraic Thinking standards. Watch a video of a student explaining her thinking about her number sentence in this video!

Group C: Extension

Students have a different set of questions. Students apply inequality symbols and notions of "how many more" in their analysis. 

See link for independent practice!


5 minutes

We will come back together and look at the other class' data.

Students will discuss with a partner: How many kids voted in this class? How do you know?

Students will complete exit ticket, which you can find here!