This lesson is not only to work on graphs and problem solve, but also to learn about a current event: the 2014 Winter Olympics! I will begin by introducing my students to all of the Winter Olympic Events. Time for Kids is offering a great kid-friendly connection for the 2014 Winter Olympics, including summaries, great pictures, and printables.
Before we begin, I will discuss each event and make sure my students know exactly what the event involves.
Need: Build a class graph using the Winter Events Graph Column Headings and large butcher paper.
After my students decide what their top 3 events are, I will pass out 3 small cards for them to either write the name of the event or draw a picture of the event. I will hang the graph in the hallway and call them one at a time to the hall to hang their votes. I will have them help me put them in the right column. You can see a video of selecting events. Here is our completed graph.
I placed the graph outside of our classroom for a particular reason. When I have had students make decisions to help build a graph in the past I would often have some students who would wait and watch what other students were putting up on the graph before they would complete their own answer because they would all want a certain category to "win." I planned to hang it in the hallway anyways when we were finished, so I decided to do it a little early to try and curb the other problem from happening. Students were excited to see all the data points and the highest data point ended up being figure skating.
First, I will gather my students at our Smart Board and go over with them how to use graph. They need to know that a bar graph is built from the bottom-up and they need to notice the bars are numbered along the side from the 1 going up in quantity. I will have my students gather in the hallway to transfer the class graph data to their own graphs. Print the Bar graph and worksheet and copy for each student. You can see students transferring data here. As each student finishes I will send them to the classroom to begin center work and allow my other students extra time to finish. This graph will have a lot of data on it and I know I will have some students who need more time to finish.
After their graphs are complete we will return to the classroom and use their individual graphs for answering graph questions. I want them to practice the Common Core standard skills of identifying how many more or less are on the graph, how many are there altogether, and compare columns of data with one another. (1.MD.C.4) Students will be using the graph to analyze results, make conclusions, review those conclusions and then revise as necessary. (MP4). These are real-life mathematical skills that First Graders need to begin developing now. It is not enough to just guess at an answer, but they must study the graph and compare/contrast columns to identify results.
I will have my students turn to their neighbor and tell them what is an important thing to remember when coloring in data information on a bar graph.