Lesson 1

Make Sense of Data

Lesson Purpose

The purpose of this lesson is to elicit students’ prior understandings of single-unit scale picture graphs and bar graphs in preparation for upcoming work with scaled bar graphs.

Lesson Narrative

In grade 2, students learned how to draw and label single-unit scale bar graphs and picture graphs and used categorical data presented in graphs to solve simple problems. In this lesson, students revisit the structure of picture graphs and bar graphs, the features of graphs that help communicate information clearly, and the information they can learn by analyzing a graph. Students learn that a key is the part of a picture graph that tells what each picture represents. Students contextualize and make sense of the data based on the title, the given values, and their own experiences (MP2).

Math Community

Prepare a space, such as a piece of poster paper, titled “Math Community” and a T-chart with the headers “Doing Math” and “Norms.” Partition each of the columns into two sections: students and teacher. The two sections encourage the students and teachers to be mindful that both respective parties are responsible for the way math is being done in the classroom.

Math Community Chart
  • Representation
  • MLR8

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

  • Interpret picture graphs and bar graphs to generate questions (orally and in writing) about the data.

Student Facing

  • Let’s read and ask questions about data.

Required Preparation

CCSS Standards

Building On

Building Towards

Lesson Timeline

Warm-up 15 min
Activity 1 10 min
Activity 2 20 min
Lesson Synthesis 10 min
Cool-down 5 min

Teacher Reflection Questions

Today’s lesson provided an opportunity to learn from your students. How were you able to incorporate your students’ lived experience into the lesson?

Suggested Centers

  • Sort and Display (1–3), Stage 2: Picture or Bar Graphs (Supporting)
  • Capture Squares (1–3), Stage 3: Add within 20 (Supporting)

Print Formatted Materials

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Additional Resources

Google Slides

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PowerPoint Slides

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