I will discuss how a pictograph is designed using images of what we are discussing. I will teach them that pictographs use pictures to represent data and each picture will equal more than “1”. There is a legend that tells how much each shape represents, and it tells us what number we need to skip count by when we are interpreting the data. I will use the pictograph at the Math is Fun site to introduce pictographs and discuss with them. In this example, the pictograph requires us to skip count by 5's or 10's. I tell students that we can use our number line if necessary, but many of them already know how to skip count by both.
Pictographs are a challenging form of a graph for first graders because in many cases the data points are not just one for one, but like in today's lesson for our whole group section, each symbol will actually represent more than one. In today's lesson, one eye symbol represents the two eyes that we have. Interpreting the data will require abstract thought and my students will really have to think as they justify their responses (MP2). I chose our eyes for today's lesson because it will be a very concrete idea for them to relate to even though we only place one eye on the chart we all know we have two eyes. We will be counting by 2's when we build this graph and having our eyes in the room will assist with counting by 2's.
This pictograph is providing my students an additional opportunity to interact with data (1.MD.C.4). Students will be organizing the data points, analyzing the information to answer questions posed, and interpreting results. This will continue to help them build a solid foundation in data representation.
I find that starting the lesson off with a creative, artsy activity promotes engagement and investment in the lesson. It also builds students' love of math and helps them see the connections between art and math.
To begin, we will build a pictograph of our eye color using tear art. You want to have a Prepared Chart ready to go ahead of time, so maybe get it ready during your planning period. Students will be given a white circle and a piece of construction paper that matches their eye color. They will tear the paper into small pieces and decorate their pupil on their eye. Students will bring me their eye and we will build a pictograph together. I will guide them to create a key.
I say: Students, we have all our eyes posted on the pictograph, but we need to create the key. Each person put one eye on the pictograph. Is that all we have on our bodies? (No, we have two eyes.) Then each eye on our pictograph stands for how many eyes? (2 because we have two eyes.) Perfect, now we want to draw our key so others will know what that our pictures represent two each.
I will have my students use the Eye color chart worksheet to answer questions related to the pictograph. First graders must learn to organize data information into charts and be able to answer questions related to this data, and this worksheet helps students solidify these skills through practice while allowing me to see who in my class has mastered the skills/who needs more help.
I will ask my students to turn to their carpet partner and tell them what they learned today about pictographs. I am hoping that students highlight how important it is to look at the key to the pictograph and use it to help them interpret the data correctly.