Here are some suggestions for making graphing fun in your classroom! I usually follow these same steps no matter the type of graph-- but I usually teach the graphs in this order: bar graph, pictograph, and line plot.
1) I always begin with a fun introduction-- Star with this FREE video from BrainPopJr.! My kids love bringing their whiteboards to the floor and answering the questions while the video is playing! (Be prepared to pause at the right moments!)
2) Next, we practice the graph whole group! So I come up with a quick question like "What is your favorite color?" or "How many pets do you have at home?" (something simple). I have a volunteer keep tallies on the board, and then we turn those answers into our own very own class bar graph! (Also, I recommend doing it on anchor chart paper so you can always refer back to it) Check out this anchor chart from That Teaching Spark:
- Fuzz Bugs
- Interpret Bar Graphs (IXL also has other practice options for each type of graph!)
- Bar Graph Creator (allows you to change the numbers and labels to make a bar graph)
- Mr. Nussbaum: Bar Graphs (quick quiz)
4) Partner students up and hand out containers of objects that you've prepped ahead of time. (This is a great option if your school doesn't allow sugar!)
- Lego pieces
- Unifix cubes
- Puff balls
- Mini erasers
5) Let them try it "hands on" by themselves! I always like to do candy graphing (use any candy that comes in different colors)! It's simple yet effective! I buy the packages of individual M&Ms, but you could easily buy larger bags and separate them into baggies or bowls. Here is a freebie you can use to help your students be more engaged:
6) Repeat this process for pictographs and line plots. You can find several ideas for graphing on my Pinterest board-- and Teachers Pay Teachers also has many valuable resources! Don't be afraid to search around for fun ideas for your unit! Here is one last freebie I've used this year (click pic to see):
Thanks for stopping by our blog-- I hope you found something useful today!