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These Are a Few of our Favorite Things: Graphs in Third Grade

By Patricia Gable

Graphs and charts are simple and space-saving ways to impart information. Since we’re all flooded daily with information presented in this way, creating and interpreting graphs and charts is a fundamental skill to learn. In this lesson, third graders will compile information they have gathered to cr

Objective

Draw a scaled picture graph and a scaled bar graph to represent a data set with several categories. Solve one- and two-step “how many more” and “how many less” problems using information presented in scaled bar graphs. MA3-MD-B-3

Materials and Preparation

  • Poster board
  • Rulers, crayons, markers and/or colored pencils
  • 1” graph paper
  • Half sheets of paper for students to answer questions

On the board, write four or five questions for students to answer. Each question should have three choices to give as an answer. No other answers will be accepted. Here are some examples:

  1. What is your favorite fruit?
    • apple banana orange
  2. What is your favorite subject in school?
    • reading math science
  3. What is your favorite food?
    • pizza hamburger hotdog
  4. What is your favorite vehicle?
    • bicycle car bus
  5. What is your favorite sport?
    • baseball swimming soccer

Procedure

Instruct students to number their papers from 1-5 and give a one-word answer to each question on the board. Collect the papers.

Then place students in five groups. Assign each group with one of the questions.

Give each group some of the papers with the five answers.

The group must decide how they will compile the results for their question. An idea might be to use scrap paper and tally marks under each of the three possible answers.

As each groups tallies the answers to their assigned question they can mark a line through the answer and pass it on to the next group to tally the answers to their question.

When all of the information has been gathered from the answer sheets, the groups will begin work on the graphs using the poster board and art supplies.

On the poster board neatness counts! Add a title, scale, labels and data. Groups may choose to create the graphs directly on the poster board or on separate sheets of plain paper or graph paper and glue them on.

Presentation

Each group will present their poster to the class for interpretation. The group can prepare questions to ask the class. An example might be, “What is the most popular fruit of the three choices?”, “Which food was the least liked food of the three choices?”, or “What was the difference between the first choice and the third choice?”

 

Throughout the year point out charts and graphs that appear in a variety of places. Newspapers are a great resource to use. Check out the weather, TV schedule, sports data and more.