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Use this 2nd grade math activity to deepen your students' understanding of graphs and how they are used. This lesson should not be used as an introduction, but rather used as a reinforcement after your students have already had practice graphing.
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Open a regular size bag of Skittles and separate it by color. Have students count how many there are of each color. Review the rules of graphing. Together, as a class, graph the amount of each color.
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Begin by Teaching
Explain to students that a survey is when you ask a group of people a question or questions and record their answer. Talk about collecting data and that data is the information or answers that they will get. Survey your class about their favorite candy. Give students four choices. Graph the results.
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- Put students in groups of three or four.
- Tell students they are going to create their very own surveys about favorite candies.
- Instruct students to write a question about favorite candies, or they can use, “What is your favorite candy?"
- Instruct each group to come up with four choices.
- Let them type it on the computer if one is available and print it. If not, they can write it on a piece of paper.
- Make the needed number of copies of the survey for each group. Each group will need one copy for every student participating in their survey.
- Decide beforehand where you will send students to complete the surveys. One idea is to send each group to a different classroom. Be sure to work this out in advance with other teachers. Set a day and time. If you are not sure who to ask, send out a campus wide email asking for volunteers.
- Send out students to complete the survey.
- After each group has completed giving the survey, talk about the data collected. Review what you did with the Skittles at the beginning of the lesson.
- Brainstorm as a class a way groups can figure out how to separate the data in order to graph it. One way to do this is to have each group make a separate pile for each candy choice. Then, have students count and record how many students picked each candy.
- Pass out graph paper to each student. You can use regular graph paper or a favorite copied version. Have each student graph the results of their survey. Have students present their survey results to the class.
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Survey the class again. This time survey the class about favorite foods or favorite books. Write the results on the overhead or the chalkboard. Pass out graph paper, and have students graph the results.
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Have each group make a poster of their graph to display in the hallway. Introduce other types of graphs, such as line graphs or pie charts.
- Photo by sunshinecity under CC BY 2.0