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Lesson Plan: Snacks Sorting, Counting, and Graphing


Lesson Plan: Snacks Sorting, Counting, and Graphing
@ Sur

This lesson plan will show students how to use data to create both a picture graph and a bar graph.

Class: 2nd Grade

Duration: 45 minutes


  • Small bag of jelly beans, M&Ms, fruit snacks, or fruit-flavored cereal
  • two sheets of blank paper with horizontal and vertical axes marked for each student

Key Vocabulary: axis, picture graph, bar graph

Objectives: Students will use data to create a picture graph and bar graph.

Standards Met: 2.MD.10. Draw a picture graph and a bar graph (with single-unit scale) to represent a data set with up to four categories. Solve simple put-together, take-apart, and compare problems using information presented in a bar graph.

Lesson Introduction: Pass out the bags of snacks, or ask a responsible student to do it. (For the purposes of this lesson, we will use the example of jelly beans.) Ask students to describe the snacks inside. Students should give descriptive words for the jelly beans - colorful, tasty, hard, etc.

Step-by Step Procedure:

  1. Sort jelly beans, count how many are in each group

  2. Put the colors on the horizontal axis

  3. Discuss how to construct the vertical axis - if the highest number in one category is 8, then our vertical axis should be at least 8. Construct the vertical axis with students.

  4. Do the same thing on both pages.

  5. Define picture graph and bar graph for students.

  6. Place the sorted jelly beans on the picture graph page. Put them in vertical lines, sorted by color. Discuss with students that if they were to draw the jelly beans exactly the way they are now, they would have a picture graph.

  7. With the first two colors, model how they can count up the vertical axis and mark their line. Show them how to draw a solid bar for the bar graph.

  8. Have them do the other colors.

Homework/Assessment: An assessment for students following this activity may take place on a different day, depending on the time needed and the attention span of the class. Each student should receive an envelope or baggie filled with colored squares, a piece of paper, and a small bottle of glue. Ask students to sort their colored squares, and to glue them in bars for a bar graph.

Evaluation: The evaluation of student understanding will be twofold. One, you can collect the glued bar graphs to see if students were correctly able to represent the number of each color and if the squares were spaced evenly to correctly show the quantity of each color. As well, as students are working on their sorting and gluing, the teacher should walk around to individual students to see if they can explain their work.

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