Lesson Plan

Comparing Columns on a bar graph

Students will collect data and create a bar graph.
Jennifer H.
ITRT - Instructional Technology Resource Teacher
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My Grades Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies

Students will be able to...collect data and create a bar graph.  They will make observations and create statements and questions about the bar graph.  Students will creat a model of a bar graph using color cubes, graph paper, and the computer.  

Grades Pre-K – 2
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 The Hook

Activity: Assessing
  • Ask students to name the types of drinks that they like, and list their examples on the board.
  • Write a color name beside each drink listed based on what students tell you.
  • As a group, choose the top 4 drink choices.
  • Tell students to choose a color cube to represent the type of drink that they like the most.   
  • Ask students to connect cubes together by color
  • Record the number of cubes for each color on the board.
Student Instructions
  • Identify a color to represent each drink listed. 
  • Choose a color cube to show which drink is liked the most.
  • Students will work together to connect color cubes together and create a model of a bar graph.

2 Direct Instruction

Activity: Investigating
  • Using the color cubes, create a bar graph.
  • Ask students questions about what they see when they look at the graph.
  • Write their responses on the board.
  • Ask questions that involve "how many more?" or how many less?"
Student Instructions
  • Students will make observations about the color cube bar graph that was created.
  • They will make statements and ask questions.

3 Guided Practice

  • On the Illuminations website find the lesson about Comparing Columns on a bar graph.
  • Open the link - Bar Grapher Tool  described in the lesson. 
  • Create a bar graph with the class to show the results of what students like to drink.
  • Explain that the data is still the same as when the color cubes were used to create a model bar graph.
Student Instructions
  • Students will continue to give their observations about the bar graph by making comparisons about the columns.  

4 Independent Practice

  • Print the graph paper from the link provided.
    Ask students to create their own bar graph by coloring in boxes on graph paper to match the total number for each drink choice.
Student Instructions
  • Students will use graph paper to color in boxes to show the correct number of color cubes which represent drink choices. 
  • They will write 2 statements that compare the bar graph and one question that could be asked about the graph.

5 Wrap-up

Activity: Presenting
  • Ask the students to share their bar graphs with the class.  
  • Have students read statements that they wrote about their bar graph.
Student Instructions
  • Students will share their graphs with each other and visitors by displaying their graphs and statements in the classroom either on a bulletin board, or a class book of graphs.