How many more: An Introduction

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SWBAT explain the meaning of "how many more". SWBAT explain how to figure out "how many more" one group has than another.

Big Idea

This introduction to data comparisons will help students start to use "how many more" language to compare 2 groups. In the meantime, they will also get to graph their favorite sports and send the information to the PE teacher.

Setting Up the Learning

5 minutes

This is the most challenging part of the 1st grade graphing standard in the Common Core! When asked to compare 2 quantities, students tend to count how many in all, or just tell you how many is in one of the groups. Many teachers dread this concept, but there are so many ways to get students excited about learning the content, while also providing them with multiple opportunities to understand it. This lesson is part of a 2 day sequence of plans. Check out TGIF to see Day 2!


Yesterday we used graphs to figure out how many people voted, or the total number of data points. Today, we are going to figure out how many more one has than another.


This is important because sometimes when we use graphs we are trying to figure out how much something won buy-figure out how much one is beating another choice by.

Objective: I can use my graph to answer “how many more” comparison questions.

Data Analysis: How many more?

10 minutes

Now I am going to tell Coach Brown about this graph today, but I know the first thing he is going to ask me. He is going to want to know how much football (it always wins in my class!) won by. He is going to want to know how many MORE people wanted football over the other sports.

Define “How many more”: How many more means how many extra. It means how many extra votes one choice got over another. It helps us see how the numbers are different.

Let’s pretend Coach Brown said : How many MORE people wanted football than basketball?

Guiding Questions:

  • Which two sports did Coach ask about? Where are those categories on my graph? Do I need to look at soccer? Why not?

  • Which one has more? Football or basketball?

  • Where are the extra football votes? (Circle them)

  • How many more did football have than basketball?


Partner talk: How did we figure out how many more football has? 

After students share their thinking with a partner, I'll choose 1-2 students to share with the whole class how they figured it out. This gives students practice in explaining their own thinking, an important aspect of MP3, Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. Students love getting to be the "student leader" and students love listening to the student leader!

Watch a video of a student explaining her thinking here!

Data Collection

10 minutes

The CCSS emphasize that students should use real life mathematical situations. All of my children LOVE their PE class, so this lesson plays right into their interests. It is great for investment, while also contextualizing their learning within a real life situation. Students want to collect this data because they want to help impact Coach Brown's decisions!

Present problem: Coach Brown is collecting some data on each classroom’s favorite sport. This is going to help him figure out what he should teach in PE.

Take classroom data. We will quickly record the student data on a class chart. The lesson image shows our classroom chart!

Quick Analysis questions:

  • How many of each?

  • How many people voted in total?

  • Which category had the greatest number of votes? Least? 

Student Practice and Share

15 minutes

Let’s look at another graph I have here from a different classroom. See attached copy!

Your job is to figure out how many more basketball has than soccer.

Partner talk for planning: Which two categories are we focused on? Which one has more?

Students work at their desks and figure out how many more basketball has. They are expected to write how they figured this out, which is aligned to the CCSS shift to writing across the curriculum and MP3, Construct viable arguments.

If students struggle with this part of the lesson, or if a subset do, make the graph with cubes and “break off” the extra. Using the concrete will help kids see what the bar graph means.

After students practice on their own, have them come back to the rug and share with a partner how they figured out the answer. 

Independent Practice

15 minutes

Students use the attached data to create and analyze their own graphs. I have provided some options for differentiating the independent practice below!

Group A: Intervention

Students create a “cube” graph in small groups. They show the data with cubes and “break off” the extra. Then they create a picture graph and circle the extras. 

Group B: Right on Track

Students do data transfer onto graph, analyze the data and then write how they figured out how many more. 

See attached documents for Independent Practice documents!


5 minutes

Students come back together and we do one more partner share about how students compared 2 groups of data.