Building our Own Bar Graphs (Part I)

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SWBAT build bar graphs using raw data

Big Idea

Students use data to create a tally chart and make a bar graph


10 minutes

Before students come to the rug for math, I write the following question on the board:

How do you get home from school? 

I then post a picture of a bus, car, bike, and a walking person beneath the question. 

As students come to the rug, I hand them each a sticky note.  I ask them to put their sticky note underneath the picture of how they get home from school.

Now we are going to tally how we get home.  

Using the information provided by the post-it notes, I have the students help me to create a tally chart. (This is a review from yesterday's lesson). 


Introduction to New Material

10 minutes

These sticky notes look really disorganized to me and it isn't easy for me understand which mode of transportation has the most children or which has the least. 

Turn and talk: How could I organize these sticky notes so it would be easier to read? 

Students might suggest stacking the sticky notes on top of each other or stacking the sticky notes into lines.

After students have shared with their teammates, ask a few students (2-3) to come up and model how they think the stickies should be organized and why. 

I select students whose intuition was to organize the data into stacks so it's easy to compare the categories.  When students have organized the stickies in this fashion, I say: 

You have just created a bar graph!  Our bar graph has two lines.  We call each of these lines an axis (point to each axis). This axis tells us the number of students and this axis tells us the modes of transportation.   .

Turn and Talk:  How is our bar graph similar to our tally chart?

I want students to identify that the numbers are the same between the bar graph and the tally chart.

Turn and talk: How many students does each sticky note equal? 

I want students to identify that each sticky equals 1 person since each of them put one sticky on the board. 

Guided Practice

10 minutes

You are going to work in groups to tally objects and make a bar graph.

I hand each group a bag of objects that can be easily sorted (cubes, shapes, beans, etc.) 

In your groups you are going to (1) sort your objects, (2) make a tally chart, and (3) make a bar graph.  

Depending on student readiness, I could do a "fish bowl" model here where the teacher and the students model the process so that students have a clear picture of what it means to be successful at this project. 

Students should be in groups of 3 and groups should be heterogeneous.  Groups of three are small enough that students will get quite a bit of hands on practice. I make the groups heterogenous so that students will be able to support each other in finishing the task. 

As students work, I circulate to check work and ask guiding questions.


Independent Practice

15 minutes

During the independent practice, students will work independently to tally a group of drawings and build their own bar graph. 

As students work, I circulate to check for understanding and ask guiding questions:

1) Why did you set up your tally chart like that?

2) What are you doing to make sure your work is accurate? (MP6) 

3) How do you know your work is accurate?

4) How does your tally chart represent your bar graph? 

When finished, I have three students share their independent work, explaining how they approached the problem and what steps they took to make sure their work was accurate. 

Exit Ticket

10 minutes

As a final check for understanding, I give students an exit ticket.  As students take the exit ticket, I circulate to determine student understanding and take notes on any common misunderstandings.  I will work to address these common misunderstandings during tomorrow's math class.