BAR GRAPH ACTIVITY
To introduce bar graphs, we read the book Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes. I showed them a 6 x 6 grid and asked the students to predict how many times we could write Chrysanthemum's name to fill up all the grid squares with letters. We decided to color the first letter of her name each time it repeated so we could see the pattern. This is what it looked like (sorry for the blur!).
Then I taped it at the bottom of the whiteboard. Then, each student filled a 6 x 6 grid with their name following the same procedure. As they finished, I asked them to see if their name pattern was the same as Chrysanthemum's. If it was, tape their grid on top of Chrysanthemum's grid. If it wasn't the same, they were asked to put it next to Chrysanthemum's grid.
As more and more students finished, the "bars" began to grow. As the bars grew so did their excitement. The discovery process is fun to watch!
Once all the names were on the board, we talked about the following:
- X and Y axes
- Labeling each axis
- Numbering and the importance of no space as the bar is built.
- Titling the graph
- Labeling each bar
- Why do we use bar graphs?
Lastly, we created questions that we could ask about the information in the graph.
- How many student's names had 4 and 5 letters?
- What is the difference between 5 letter names and 2 letter names?
To get a free copy of the grid with directions for completing it, click HERE. If you try this activity, I would love to know how it goes! Happy bar-graphing!