Take advantage of the passion kids have for their pets to introduce them to the concepts behind creating bar graphs. Students will survey others about their pets and create a bar graph of the results.
Materials to Get Started
- Paper for students' individual graphs
The class graph can be created on any large surface which all students can see.
Description of the Activity
Begin with a discussion on pets. Ask about what kinds of pets the students have and ask them to briefly share a little about their pet.
- Ask the class to predict the following: the total number of pets owned by the class, the most-owned pet, the least-owned pet, the number of students that have pets, the number of students who do not have pets.
- Assist students to create a survey for class members about the types of pets and how many of each type of pet they own.
- Students will use the survey to obtain data about the class members' pets.
- Compare students' data to determine if any student has inaccurate or incomplete data.
- Create a large bar graph of all the students' data. As the class discusses and creates a large graph, each student will also create his/her own bar graph of the data.
- Analyze the data on the graph: Which type of pet is owned by the largest number of students? Which type of pet has the greatest number? Are the answers to the first two questions the same or different? How can this be explained? (i.e. More students may own dogs, but there may be more total fish owned by the class.) What is the total number of pets owned by the class? What is the least-owned type of pet? How many students have pets? How many students do not have pets?
- Discuss how accurate the students' predictions were or were not.
- Student-created graphs
- Did the student understand the processes of surveying and creating a graph of the data?
- Was the student able to accurately glean data from the survey and put it into a graph?
- Were the students' predictions close to being accurate?
- Create a chart of the survey data and then use the chart to create the bar graph.
- Discuss the mean, median, and mode of the data.
- Create a pictograph of the data.
- Determine the percentage of each type of pet owned, as well as the percentages of students who do and do not own pets.
- Create a pie graph of the data.
Science - Integrate this activity with a unit on different types of animals.
Writing - Students can write a descriptive essay about their pets. Students who do not own a pet could write about what type of pet they would like to own.
- Students could survey other classrooms and graph the results, too. Students could then compare the graph of their class with that of the other class.