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Learning Experience/Unit

Graph It! by St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES


Math, Science & Technology

Grade Levels

Elementary, Kindergarten

Learning Context/ Introduction

This is a learning experience that will help students gain a better understanding of graphs. For this learning experience, we are going to be talking about graphs, creating graphs, and interpreting graphs. The students will be using technology by interacting with a SMART Board to create classroom graphs.

Essential Question

What can a graph tell me?


Please see the link for my assessment below.

  • GRAPH IT rubric.doc
  • bm22.pdf
  • Low Student Work Graph.pdf
  • Low Rubric.pdf
  • Average Student Work Graph.pdf
  • Average Student Work Graph.pdf
  • High Student Work Graph.pdf
  • High Rubric.pdf
  • Student Work

    Using the SMART Board, the children will be creating and interpreting graphs. At the end of the week, they will be creating a graph using M & M's. Please see the link for my student work below.


    This learning experience will be done during our scheduled math time which occurs after lunch for approximately 20-30-minutes. Also, during our scheduled time in the computer lab for the week of this learning experience, the children will be using the Saxon-Math software that our school bought. This is a paid software program. If you click on Kindergarten and number 2, it involves sorting and graphing. The children will be making a graph with teddy bears. This was used as another form of review. We will be reading a book about graphs, watching a video about graphs, and then creating and interpreting graphs.

    Day 1 - The children will watch a movie from www.brainpopjr.com. The site requires a subscription, but you can register for a free 30-day trial. The name of the movie is "Tally Charts and Bar Graphs." After watching the video, read the book Making Graphs by Michelle Wagner Nechaev.

    Day 2 - The students will create a graph displaying each child's favorite pet. This graph will be created using the SMART Board. After the students create the graph, we will interpret it. Ask the following questions; What can you tell me about this graph? Which pet do students like the most? the least?, etc. Were there any pets that were equal? Please see my SMART Board attachment below.

    Day 3 - We will be creating a graph using a spinner and tally marks. Each student will come up and spin the spinner. They will place a tally mark in the correct box. This will be done on the SMART Board. Next, we will use our tally data to create a graph on the SMART Board. After the students create the graph, we will again interpret it. Again, please see my SMART Board attachment below.

    Day 4 - The students will be creating their own individual M & M bar graph. Give each student a snack size bag of M & Ms and the M & M graph paper (see attachment below). As a whole group, we will color in the M & M's on the bottom of the graph (at this time, the students struggle with their color words). Once that is done, the students will sort their M & M's using the paper as a guide. Show them how each M & M fits in it's own box. After the students have sorted their M & M's, show them how to color in each box that has an M & M inside it. As they color in each box, they can take the candy off and put it aside or eat it.

    Day 5 - The students will be creating their own individual graphs using Gummi Bears. Give each student about 15 Gummi Bears in a snack size bag. Pass out the Gummi Bear tally sheet and graph paper (please see attachment under Related Resource). First, have the students sort their Gummi Bears by color. Next, have them fill in their tally sheet. Last, they will create their graph using their data. Once they are done, they are to raise their hand. Then, check their tally sheet and graph to make sure it is correct. Ask them what color had the most?, the least? did you have any ties?, etc. After they have answered the questions and you have checked the box on the bottom, they may eat their Gummi Bears or take them home.

  • M&M Graph.doc
  • Graphing NYLearns.notebook
  • Gummi Bear Graph
  • Related Resource

    You will need the following materials:

    Instructional/Environment Modifications

    At the kindergarten level, many of our activities are done as a whole group. For Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3, all of the children will come to the carpet where the SMART Board is in place. Any students who need extra help will be placed next to the teacher. For those students who have weak fine motor skills or have trouble manipulating objects on the SMART Board with their finger, they may use a tennis ball. On Day 4, the teacher will be moving around the room and assisting those that are having trouble. On Day 5, the teacher will be walking around and observing the children as they complete their graph, since this is being assessed.


    This unit experience will last 5 days. Each day will take approximately 30-minutes.

    Reflections and Feedback

    Overall, I was pleased with this learning experience. The children are somewhat familiar with graphs, since we do keep track of the weather on our weather chart for the week during calendar time. At the end of the week, we do see what type of weather we had the most of, etc. We have also done a few graphs with what kind of milk they like best for snack; chocolate, white, or strawberry.

    I think that the children really enjoyed making their own graphs. Especially since it involved candy! One thing that I like about this activity is that each graph is different (usually) so they learn to understand that it is okay if their work does not look like their neighbors. I did find that the tally marks were tricky for some and I will have to review this as time goes on. I think we will now keep a tally of the weather for the week, and include more tallies throughout the year.

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