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Title: Introduction to Graphing


This lesson can be used as an introductory lesson on graphing for a Grade One class. The lesson addresses the expectations from the Data Management strand for Ontario math curriculum. In this hands-on lesson, the students will learn how to read and create a simple graph. The teacher can make links to the students’ prior knowledge by choosing a familiar topic for their data (i.e. pets, favourite candy, etc.). The lesson can be incorporated into an integrated unit on animals or to fit another unit being studied.


In this hands-on, whole class lesson, the students will learn how to read and create a simple graph. The students will use Post-It Notes to represent the pets that they have at home. Each student will place his/her Post-It Note on the class graph to construct the bars (bar graph).

Ontario Curriculum Specific Expectations:
·Collect first-hand data by conducting surveys
·Record data on charts or grids given by the teacher using various recording methods
·Organize materials on concrete graphs using one to one correspondence
·Read and discuss data from graphs made with concrete materials and express understanding in a variety of informal ways
Language Expectations:
·Understanding of vocabulary (i.e. pets and animal names, graph, numbers, title, how many?)
·Follow oral directions
·Use pictures to determine the meaning of written words

This is a whole class activity. Each student will come up individually to contribute to the whole class bar graph. Seat ESL learners beside other students that speak the same language (if possible) or beside a helpful student.

Lesson Organization:
·Have students sit in their desks facing the front of the classroom.
·Initiate a conversation about animals – Who can name an animal? What kinds of animals do we have as pets? Have class brainstorm ideas and write the ideas down on the blackboard and put the corresponding pet picture beside the word.
·Tell the students that you want to figure out how many people in the classroom have pets and that you really want to know what kind of pets they have.
·Explain that they are going to create a class “graph” that will tell us many people have a pet.
·Show the students the pre-made graph outline and explain that a graph is a chart that tells us information.
·Review the numbers (up the y-axis) with the class – have them count the numbers with you (1-20) while you point to each number.
·From the list that was made, ask students to pick 3 pets that they think that most people in the class would have.
·Use these to label the x-axis, drawing small pictures under each word to help the students recognize its meaning. Be sure to include two other categories – “Other” and “No Pet” and review each label with the students by reading it and pointing to the word and the corresponding picture.
· Explain that each student will get a chance to put a Post-It Note on the graph (hold up a Post-It Note to demonstrate the meaning).
·Model instructions: “I have a cat at home so I am going to draw a cat on my Post-It Note with my pencil and then come up and put it above the word ‘cat’” – “If you don’t have a pet at home, you can make a 0 on the Post-It Note because a zero means none or nothing”
·Model how you would put your Post-It Note on the graph and explain that the Post-It Notes need to form a line, one on top of the other (demonstrate).
·Choose a helper to help hand out Post-It Notes to every student. Ask how many students have more than one pet…give those students extra Post-It Notes accordingly.
·Instruct students to draw a picture of the pet they have using only their pencils. If the students do not have a pet they should draw a zero.
·Have students come up row by row to put their post-it notes on the class graph in the appropriate category.
·When everyone has had a chance to add to the graph, discuss the parts of the complete graph with the class. What should we label this part of the graph (point to the animal names)? What should we label that part of the graph (point to the numbers)? Can anyone think of a title for our graph?
·Discuss the results of the graph with the class. Which category has the tallest bar? What does that mean? How many are in each bar? How many students have pets? How many do not have a pet? **Have the students count together while you guide them by pointing to the Post-It Notes.

Informal Observation:
·Watch each child as they put up their Post-It note – do they understand where to put it?
·Are the children using the pictorial cues to help them understand the graph?
· Monitor understanding by listening to the responses to the questions you posed, if students can’t respond orally, can they point to the appropriate number? For the ESL learners, can they point to the correct animal name? Can they match the number word to the written number representation? If possible, ESL learners can discuss the activity and the results in their first language to another student.
·Give the students oral feedback throughout the graphing activity and during their responses to your questions.

The following sums up the adaptations for the ESL learner that have been embedded in this lesson:
·Helpful seating arrangement (ESL learners paired with student that speaks same language or with a helpful student).
·Links to prior knowledge (i.e. discussion about animals/pets)
· Use of both labels and pictures on the graph (supports both the ESL and non-readers in the classroom who may not have the language base to read the word label alone).
·Clear and modelled instructions (the teacher models the exact process that the students are going to follow).
·Pictures drawn on each Post-It Note of the animal it is to represent (shows a clearer construction of each category on the graph visually).
·Review of vocabulary (animal names, numbers, graph, etc.)

What you need:
·Post-it Notes
·Teacher-made graph outline (on chart paper) - pet categories will be labelled along the x-axis labelled in writing and with pictures after class discussion (ex. dog, cat, fish, other, none)
·Pictures of common pets

Submitted by: Heather Ichiyen

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