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Graphing Activities

Compiled By: Mrs. G

Here a some creative ways to incorporate graphing into your classroom. Some of the ideas can be used to introduce graphs and others can be used daily to reinforce this concept.

Graphing with lunch count
Posted by: tigmil

At my school we have either hot lunch or cold lunch. One year my theme was "Bee" in School everyday, and students moved their bee under hot or cold lunch. Last year I used frogs with the theme "Hop to School Everyday." Anyway, we could use the results during morning meeting for practice reading a pictograph.

(BTW: students who weren't at school would remain in the "absent" column.)

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How about graphing
Posted by: Carolyn in Fox Lake

I do not know the age of the kids but two types of graphing come to mind. You could have the kids survey others in the class for selected questions - do you have pets, favorite food, type of ice cream ect and out of the info create a bar graph. You could give the kids suggested topics but let them pick their own questions.
The other idea is a Venn diagram on specific topics. I did this with a 4/5 split to introduce the concept of graphing numbers. I had the class split by boys and girls. Then had all those with brown hair come into the middle.
Don't know if you have already done these, but hope they help.

Posted by: Kim

You can also have them build individual graphs by rolling dice. Make dice that fit with your theme. Give each student a blank grpah and let them label the columns (or you can do this part). I use this at a center and the kids roll a die and record the roll on the grph. This week we are studying jobs that people do. I have a graph with pictures of a doctor, police officer, firefighter, and a postal worker. The die is labeled with these pictures also. The students take turns rolling the die until everyone has rolled and recorded 10 times on their own graph. My assistant then has them interpret the grph. They are all different. I also do this with coins. Another way is to give them an object (such as a premade paper cookie) and let them graph whats on it. I made "rainbow chip cookies" and each student had to graph the colored chips on the cookie they chose. Next week we are soing a unit on pizza. I will be making paper pizzas and the students will have to graph the amounts of each ingredient.

Hope this helps
Posted by: Jenna

I introduced them this week to my students, and for the first time I think they understood it! I made a template of a stem and many leaves and told them to fill in any 1 number between 0-9. They cut them out and then we filled out a giant class-size stem and leaf plot. Then, I had them arrange their leaves into an order that made sense to them (smallest to largest won most of the time) and we discussed why that was. Then, we figured out the median in each of their stem/leaf sets and then as a class. The next day we reviewed it using magnetic numbers and they really seemed to understand. Yesterday they took a quiz on it and I only have 2 kids I need to review with!

Posted by: Em

We do lots of graphing, but my kids favourite is when we use paper plates to make our faces, so if we have blue eyes we make the eyes blue those with brown hair would use brown yarn, making it short or long depending to make it look like them. Then we do graphing with them all week or longer. I may have hair colour, eye colour, hair length, girl, boy, 5 or 6 years old, then fav. season, dog or cat ect... and they put their face under their pick. AFter the first day I post the question in the morning and put the faces on their tables and when they come in the morning they help each other read the question (with help) and place their face in the correct spot, then we discuss it later in the day.

Measurement and Graphing
Posted by: Heather

I am planning a plant unit for my second graders. One activity we are going to do is to make Eggshell people.

Give all the kids an empty egg shell with the top third removed. Have them decorate the eggs to look like a person (test the markers first). Then have them plant grass seed.

As the grass grows, have students measure the grass and record it in a table of some sort. They can make a line graph showing the progression.

Then after a certain period of time, make a graph showing the height of the grass for all the eggshell people. They can write about what they notice from the graph (There are five eggshells with hair that is 4-5 inches tall.)

I am also going to have my class write stories about the people.

Hope this helps!

Posted by: Tracy

I teach 4th grade, but I am sure it can be adapted. I assign my students a graph project to do. They must first develop a survey question, prepare a frequency table, make a bar graph from the table, compare predictions to actual findings, write statements about the graph and present it to the class. They are then displayed in the hallway. Before doing their own, we do one in class by groups. You might also have them make a graph that involves school input, ie favorite school lunches, favorite teachers, favorite books, etc. I knew one teacher that would assign a student a week to develop a question and would create a graph from that every week. Another graph I did once we studied temperature was to make a line graph of the week's temp. You could also have them use the same info to make pictographs. For Science we made line graphs to chart the rate our plants grew. I know it is a bit jumbled, but I think you get the idea.

Posted by: Mrs. Q

I used the graphing as a means to take attendance last year with my K class. Sometimes the questions had yes or no answers. One day a week the graph was always "how are you feeling" with 3 choices. We also used:
*how did you get to school today
*how old are you
*do you have the letter _ in your first/last name
Sometimes I would have them choose a fav. center and just put a piece from that center as the label for the column (a lego, a puzzle piece, etc.)
We tried to have a few questions that related to current holidays/themes or events like snowstorms. By the end of the year, our classes were pros at creating and interpreting graphs. I shared my room with another teacher, so we were able to share ideas.

m&m graphing
Posted by: SSTeach

A really fun graphing activity that my first graders loved was graphing m&m colors. I gave each child one of those small bags of m&ms. First they had to sort out their candy by color and then fill out a chart that listed how many of each color. Then, they filled out a graph to show how many of each color. After they were finished with their work, they could eat the m&ms. This would be fun for any age.

skittles graphing
Posted by: jj

I did a lesson for my evaluation that required the kids to do a variety of activities based on the colors of skittles that they had in their pack (those snack packs). They first had to estimate how many Skittles they thought they had in their bag. Then they had to write fractions for the different colors in the bag. Next they drew a graph based on the colors in the bag. Then we did a class graph based upon how many of each color each person had. They had to mentally add the numbers together. Then they made a graph based on the findings of the class. Finally, they compared their bag to the findings of the class. My kids loved this. Of course, they knew they would get to eat the Skittles after they were done with them.

Posted by: MaddieC

This is what I use in second grade. It's not mine. I got it from another teacher.


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Math graphing
Posted by: Annie

There's a great book called "Tiger Graphing" or "Tiger Math", I'm not sure, but it is a story as well as teaching a variety of graphing ideas, comparing the growth of a baby tiger to his father. I used it last year and the kids loved it. Our media specialist liked it so much, she ordered several copies. It's a great way to integrate subjects as well.

Mad Minute Graphing
Posted by: Anne

I also give my second graders a mad minute sheet prior to every class. I however stole an idea that a third grade teacher I know does. I have everyone graph their score daily. Each student has a piece of graph paper in which they have numbered up one side and every day they color in a column to represent how many they got correct. They have one sheet for addition and another for subtraction. They love seeing how they progress and are competing against themselves only.

Graph with Student Photos
Posted by: steach

My partner and I did a neat graphing activity this year. We displayed it on one of the huge bulletin boards between our rooms. We took pictures (head shots) of each of our students, and we had a graph question of the week. Every Monday morning we would meet in the hallway and graph the results using the pictures. We would then use the graph during the week to ask more in depth questions. It was a great activity and made an awesome bulletin board that was left up all year.

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Weather Line Graph
Posted by: Phyllis

If you can find a day when the weather forecast predicts a drastic temperature change, that is the day to do a line graph. The teacher would want to have a blank graph ready with times starting at 6:00 am and continuing until 3:00 pm. The teacher would need to bring to school the temperatures for 6 and 7 and be ready to check or some other weather report for the hourly temp. Too bad to have to wait for a good day, but you could actually do any day; the change just wouldn't be so great.