Material Type:
Activity/Lab, Lesson, Lesson Plan
Lower Primary
  • Add
  • Addition
  • Categorize
  • Cl7Lesson
  • Cluster 7
  • Collect
  • Compare
  • Data
  • Graph
  • Interpret
  • Organize
  • Problem
  • Question
  • Questions
  • Scale
  • Solve
  • Solving
  • Subtract
  • Subtraction
  • Unit 7
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs

    Education Standards

    T4T Data Here, Data There

    T4T Data Here, Data There


    This resource is from Tools4NCTeachers.  

    In this lesson, students will create a survey question, collect data, create a bar graph, write and answer questions about the collected data.  This lesson may take two days to complete. 

    Printable, samples of student work, sample anchor charts, and extension ideas are included within this lesson.

    Here is a sample of this resource.  Click the attachment to download the entire fully-formatted lesson and support materials.


    Data Here! Data There!


    In this lesson, students will create a survey question, collect data, create a bar graph, write and answer questions about the collected data.  This lesson may take two days to complete. 


    NC Mathematics Standard(s):

    Measurement and Data

    Represent and interpret data.

    NC.2.MD.10 Organize, represent, and interpret data with up to four categories.

    • Draw a picture graph and a bar graph with a single-unit scale to represent a data set.

    • Solve simple put-together, take-apart, and compare problems using information presented in a picture and bar graph.


    Standards for Mathematical Practice:

    2.  Reason abstractly and quantitatively.

    4.  Model with mathematics.

    6.  Attend to precision.

    7.  Look for and make use of structure.


    Student Outcomes:

    • I can organize data collected through a survey.
    • I can represent data on a bar graph.
    • I can interpret data.


    Math Language:








    bar graph


    response categories/answer choices



    • student survey sheet for each student
    • class list of students’ names for each student
    • blank bar graph for each student
    • blank piece of paper to make a foldable--optional    


    Advance Preparation:

    • For Explore 1:  Make copies of the student survey sheet and a blank bar graph for each student.
    • For Explore 2:  If you choose to use the foldable, students need to have made it prior to the lesson.  Directions can be found at the end of this document.    


    Launch 1 (10-15 minutes)

    Show the students different bar graphs.  Two examples are attached below.   Use the discussion question below to discuss bar graphs. 


    Discussion questions for the ice cream graph:

    What question do you think was asked to create this graph? (What is your favorite ice cream? What kinds of ice cream do you like?  What is your favorite ice cream?)

    • How many students were surveyed?  How do you know? 
    • How is the bar graph organized so that it is easy to read?
    • What is the title? 
    • What are the categories represented on the bar graph? 
    • Notice the scale, what does it increase by?
    • What do the numbers represent?


    What are you curious about?  Think of a question you would like to ask your classmates.


    Problem:  Survey your classmates.

    Write a question that includes no more than four response categories or answer choices. Ask your classmates to respond to your question and collect your data.  Using the data collected, create a bar graph to represent your data.


    Explore 1

    Teacher Note:  This will address tasks 1-3 on the attached student task sheet. 


    Collecting Data and Creating a Bar Graph

    Allow time for students to work individually to develop a survey question and response categories Allow students to survey classmates to collect data.  As students work, observe how students collect and record data.  Is the data being organized by category?  Are tally marks in groups of 5? 

    Observe and Ask:

    • Why did you ask this question?  Is this a topic that you think other students will know about? 
    • What if someone doesn’t know the answer to your question?
    • How will a non-response impact your data collection? 
    • What do the tally marks represent? (each student response)
    • What are you noticing about your data so far? (most responses, least responses)
    • Why do you think it is important to be organized when you collect data?
    • How will you label your bar graph? (scale increases by one, categories clearly labeled)
    • How will the tally marks be represented on your bar graph?

    After the students have collected the data, have them create the bar graph.


    Discuss 1

    Graph Presentations:

    Bring the group back together.  Allow students to share question and response categories with a math partner.  Then allow partners to share the data represented by the bar graph.   Allow preselected students to share their bar graph with the class.  Students will share the data represented by their bar graph.  Make sure students have accurately labeled the bar graph.  

    • What is the connection between your title and your question?
    • What do the categories represent?  (student response options/answer choices)
    • What are some observations you made about your data?
    • What is a question we can ask about the data?
    • After you did your survey, did you want to change some of the categories?  If yes, how would you change them?


    Launch 2 (This is when task 4 will be addressed on the student sheet)

    Yesterday we looked at bar graphs.  Today we are going to focus on the graph showing data about eye color. Display the eye color graph.  Review quickly the parts of a bar graph (title, scale, categories).  AskWhat questions could we ask about the data represented in the bar graph?

    Possible Responses:

    • Which color eyes do most people have who answered this question?
    • Which eye color was the least?
    • How many more students had blue eyes than green?  How did you solve the problem? 
    • How many students were surveyed? 
    • If we surveyed our class, would the data be the same?


    Today we are going to study (analyze) our graphs and create 3 questions about the data.  Take a moment to look at your graph. 


    Explore 2

    Teacher Note:  If you choose to use the foldable for this activity, students should make it before the lesson begins.  You don’t want to break the flow of the lesson or use valuable math time to make the foldable.


    Students will write a question about the data shown on their bar graph on each flap of the foldable.  Once a question is written, students will open the flap and answer it.  Students should show work, if necessary, to prove the answer to the question. 


    Once students have written and answered the three questions, share the foldable and the graph with a partner.  Partners will use the graph to answer the three foldable questions on a separate piece of paper and then lift the flap to check the answer. 



    Discuss 2

    Bring students back together.  Several students will display their graph and ask classmates questions from their foldable. As students respond to student questions require students to prove their response using the displayed graph.

    Possible Discussion Prompts:

    • How did you reach that conclusion?
    • How did you begin to think about that question/problem?
    • Is there another way that problem could be answered?
    • How did you organize your information? Your thinking?


    Evaluation of Student Understanding

    Informal Evaluation:

    Observe, monitor, and listen as students collect data. Take anecdotal notes to guide further instruction. 

    How are students organizing the data?  Does the graph have all the components?  Is the bar graph accurate?  Can the questions students ask be answered with the data?  Are student responses to the questions accurate? 


    Favorite Disney Characters

    Sheriff Woody


    Lightning McQueen






    Formal Evaluation/Exit Ticket:

    Display the table to the right.  Provide students with a copy of the blank bar graph.  Students will use the data table to independently complete an accurate bar graph.


    Meeting the Needs of the Range of Learners


    Have a list of questions available for students who need help creating a question. (See list at end of lesson.)


    Work with students in a small group to create the graphs using the data collected from the students’ surveys.



    What would need to change in order to create a horizontal bar graph?  The graph looks different, but is the data the same?  How do you know? 


    Students who accurately complete the bar graph can use the same data to complete a picture graph.  How are the two graphs similar?  How are they different?


    Possible Misconceptions/Suggestions:

    Possible Misconceptions


    • Not starting the bar on zero



    • Review with an example or have the student count the boxes to make sure it equals the number to be represented.


    Read The Great Graph Contest.  Discuss the different ways data was represented in the story.



    Create data anchor charts.















    Student Task Sheet

    1. Think of a question you would like to ask your classmates. Your question must have 4 or fewer possible answers. Write your survey question below.



    1. Survey the students in your class.  Record the survey results below.




    Tally Marks




























    1. Use the data above to create a bar graph to represent your data.
    2. Write three word problems about the data shown by your graph.  Lift the flap to solve your problems.



    Bar Graph




































































    _______________      ______________        _____________        _______________















                            Ice Cream Flavors


    Possible Questions for Students to Explore

    1. What is your favorite color?
    2. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
    3. What insect is most interesting to you?
    4. What pets do you have at your house?
    5. What is your favorite pizza topping?
    6. This morning did you walk, ride the bus, car or a bicycle to school?
    7. Where do you want to go on vacation?



    Foldable Directions:

    1.  Fold the paper in half vertically (hot dog style).

    2.  Fold their paper into thirds along the vertical fold line.

    3.  Unfold the thirds.

    4.  Cut on the front fold lines to the middle of the paper to make 3 flaps