Lesson 6

Choose a Scale

Lesson Purpose

The purpose of this lesson is for students to consider the advantages and disadvantages of various bar graph scales.

Lesson Narrative

In previous lessons, students created scaled picture and bar graphs with a given scale of 2 or 5. This lesson extends this work to allow students to choose the scale for their bar graph and reflect on the advantages or disadvantages of their choices. Through the work of the lesson, students notice that they can choose a scale based on the numbers in the data set and that the scale can make a graph easier or more difficult to read (MP6).

Math Community

Tell students they will reflect on their identified norms at the end of this lesson.

  • Representation
  • MLR8

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

  • Choose an appropriate scale for a bar graph that represents a given data set.

Student Facing

  • Let’s choose a scale for our bar graph.

Required Preparation

CCSS Standards


Lesson Timeline

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

Teacher Reflection Questions

In tomorrow’s lesson, students solve one- and two-step “how many more” and “how many fewer” problems using data presented in scaled bar graphs. Based on the work you have seen students doing in previous lessons, what strategies do you anticipate each student will use to solve these problems? How will you encourage each student to share their understandings and listen to one another’s strategies?

Suggested Centers

  • Sort and Display (1–3), Stage 3: Scaled Graphs (Addressing)
  • Five in a Row: Addition and Subtraction (1–2), Stage 6: Add within 100 with Composing (Supporting)

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