The following lesson is designed to give students experience creating bar graphs and reading bar
graphs. It also introduces students to the effectiveness of different representations of data.
This lesson provides students with an opportunity to explore bar graphs using authentic
information. This lesson would work well towards the middle of a unit on bar graphs, before the
students make their own but after they've had sufficient practice reading them. It will take about
2 days (45 minutes each day) to complete this lesson. Please note the ideas for this lesson were
provided by an Interactivate user, Brett Rycombel. Thank you Brett.

Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will:

have practice creating bar graphs

have experience reading bar graphs

have an understanding of how to accurately represent a graph with appropriate units

Standards Addressed:

Grade 10

Statistics and Probability

The student demonstrates an ability to classify and organize data.

The student demonstrates an ability to analyze data (comparing, explaining, interpreting, evaluating, making predictions, describing trends; drawing, formulating, or justifying conclusions).

Grade 3

Statistics and Probability

The student demonstrates an ability to classify and organize data.

The student demonstrates an ability to analyze data (comparing, explaining, interpreting, or justifying conclusions).

Grade 4

Statistics and Probability

The student demonstrates an ability to classify and organize data.

The student demonstrates an ability to analyze data (comparing, explaining, interpreting, evaluating; drawing or justifying conclusions).

Grade 5

Statistics and Probability

The student demonstrates an ability to classify and organize data.

The student demonstrates an ability to analyze data (comparing, explaining, interpreting, evaluating; drawing or justifying conclusions).

Grade 6

Statistics and Probability

The student demonstrates an ability to classify and organize data.

The student demonstrates an ability to analyze data (comparing, explaining, interpreting, evaluating; drawing or justifying conclusions).

Grade 7

Statistics and Probability

The student demonstrates an ability to classify and organize data.

The student demonstrates an ability to analyze data (comparing, explaining, interpreting, evaluating, making predictions; drawing or justifying conclusions).

Grade 8

Statistics and Probability

The student demonstrates an ability to classify and organize data.

The student demonstrates an ability to analyze data (comparing, explaining, interpreting, evaluating, making predictions, describing trends; drawing, formulating, or justifying conclusions).

Grade 9

Statistics and Probability

The student demonstrates an ability to classify and organize data.

The student demonstrates an ability to analyze data (comparing, explaining, interpreting, evaluating, making predictions, describing trends; drawing, formulating, or justifying conclusions).

Grade 4

Statistics, Data Analysis, and Probability

1.0 Students organize, represent, and interpret numerical and categorical data and clearly communicate their findings

Grade 5

Number Sense

1.0 Students compute with very large and very small numbers, positive integers, decimals, and fractions and understand the relationship between decimals, fractions, and percents. They understand the relative magnitudes of numbers

Statistics, Data Analysis, and Probability

1.0 Students display, analyze, compare, and interpret different data sets, including data sets of different sizes

Grade 6

Algebra and Functions

1.0 Students write verbal expressions and sentences as algebraic expressions and equations; they evaluate algebraic expressions, solve simple linear equations, and graph and interpret their results

Grade 7

Algebra and Functions

3.0 Students graph and interpret linear and some nonlinear functions

Fifth Grade

Measurement and Data

Represent and interpret data.

Fourth Grade

Measurement and Data

Represent and interpret data.

Statistics and Probability

Interpreting Categorical and Quantitative Data

Summarize, represent, and interpret data on a single count or measurement variable

Third Grade

Measurement and Data

Represent and interpret data.

Grades 3-5

Data Analysis and Probability

Select and use appropriate statistical methods to analyze data

Grades 6-8

Data Analysis and Probability

Select and use appropriate statistical methods to analyze data

3rd Grade

Data Analysis and Probability

The student will demonstrate through the mathematical processes an understanding of organizing, interpreting, analyzing and making predictions about data, the benefits of multiple representations of a data set, and the basic concepts of probability.

4th grade

Data Analysis and Probability

Standard 4-6: The student will demonstrate through the mathematical processes an understanding of the impact of data-collection methods, the appropriate graph for categorical or numerical data, and the analysis of possible outcomes for a simple event.

5th grade

Data Analysis and Probability

The student will demonstrate through the mathematical processes an understanding of investigation design, the effect of data-collection methods on a data set, the interpretation and application of the measures of central tendency, and the application of basic concepts of probability.

3rd Grade

Data Analysis

Content Standard 5.0 The student will understand and apply basic statistical and probability concepts in order to organize and analyze data and to make predictions and conjectures.

4th Grade

Data Analysis & Probability

The student will understand and apply basic statistical and probability concepts in order to organize and analyze data and to make predictions and conjectures.

5th Grade

Data Analysis & Probability

The student will understand and apply basic statistical and probability concepts in order to organize and analyze data and to make predictions and conjectures.

6th Grade

Data Analysis & Probability

Content Standard 5.0 The student will understand and apply basic statistical and probability concepts in order to organize and analyze data and to make predictions and conjectures.

7th Grade

Data Analysis & Probability

The student will understand and apply basic statistical and probability concepts in order to organize and analyze data and to make predictions and conjectures.

8th Grade

Data Analysis & Probability

The student will understand and apply basic statistical and probability concepts in order to organize and analyze data and to make predictions and conjectures.

Grade 3

Probability and Statistics

13. The student solves problems by collecting, organizing, displaying, and
interpreting sets of data.

Grade 4

Probability and Statistics

13. The student solves problems by collecting, organizing, displaying, and
interpreting sets of data.

Grade 5

Probability and Statistics

13. The student solves problems by collecting, organizing, displaying, and
interpreting sets of data.

Grade 6

Patterns, Relationships, and Algebraic Thinking

4. The student uses letters as variables in
mathematical expressions to describe how one quantity changes when a related quantity changes.

Probability and Statistics

10. The student uses statistical representations to analyze data.

Grade 7

Patterns, Relationships, and Algebraic Thinking

3. The student solves problems involving direct
proportional relationships.

Probability and Statistics

11. The student understands that the way a set of data is displayed
influences its interpretation.

3rd Grade

Probability and Statistics

3.21b The student, given grid paper, will construct a line plot, a picture graph, or a bar graph to represent the results. Each graph will include an appropriate title and key.

5th Grade

Probability and Statistics

5.18 The student will, given a problem situation, collect, organize, and display a set of numerical data in a variety of forms, using bar graphs, stem-and-leaf plots, and line graphs, to draw conclusions and make predictions.

6th Grade

Probability and Statistics

6.18a The student, given a problem situation, will collect, analyze, display, and interpret data in a variety of graphical methods, including line, bar, and circle graphs

8th Grade

Probability and Statistics

8.12 The student will make comparisons, predictions, and inferences, using information displayed in frequency distributions; box-and-whisker plots; scattergrams; line, bar, circle, and picture graphs; and histograms.

Student Prerequisites

Data Analysis and Probability:

interpret a bar graph

Measurement:

understand different units of measurement for height

Technological:

perform basic mouse manipulations such as point, click and drag

Teacher Preparation

Students will need:

-Access to a browser

Pencil and paper

Key Terms

bar graph

A diagram showing a system of connections or interrelations between two or more things by using bars

Lesson Outline

Focus and Review

Ask the students the following questions:

Why do we use bar graphs?

What are some things that we can show on bar graphs?

Show the students a bar graph of precipitation over a year in inches using the following
data and ask the following questions:

Why would this bar graph help us?

What do we know from this bar graph? How?

Show the students a bar graph of the same data, but with precipitation measured in feet and ask
the following questions:

Does this bar graph show us the same information?

Does it show you the information in a more helpful way or less helpful way?

Objectives

Let the students know what they will be doing and learning today. Say something like this:

Today, class, we are going to be exploring how heights of different things in the world compare
to one another by using bar graphs.

We are going to use the computers to learn about how to put the data we find into a bar graph.

Teacher Input

Use the
Bar Graph activity to familiarize the students with how to input data. Create a small example bar graph
and have the students create it with you.

Emphasize the importance of vertical scale on bar graphs and labeling the two axes. Also discuss
the importance of having identical units for all heights found.

Explain the assignment: students will, in pairs, create a list of 4 things that have different
heights. They then will research the height of these things using Google.

Emphasize that if the students can't find the height of one item after 5 minutes of research
they need to pick something else. Also, you may want to suggest that the students include items
with a wide range of heights to see how they compare.

Guided Practice

Ask the students to provide some suggestions of fun things to compare heights with. If no one
makes any suggestions provide some examples including: Mount Everest, Empire State Building,
Eiffel Tower, tallest roller coaster or Niagara Falls. Write their suggestions and yours on the
board for the students to reference.

Model how to research the height of one of the examples. Again emphasize that everything will
need to be in the same units. Show how they can convert it to the right unit by using Google
(type "number" "unit" to "new unit"). For example, "45 feet to mile".

Independent Practice

Have the students discuss 4 heights to find with their partners and complete the research. Have
the students record this data on a piece of paper to turn in with their final graph. Provide a
model for students to use to organize their data on the paper.

Then, have them put this data onto the
Bar Graph activity.

Have the students answer the following questions on the notebook paper once they have graphed
their data:

What do you learn when looking at this graph?

What units did you use to graph your data?

Do these units give you a good representation of the data?

What is something you learned about bar graphs during this activity?

Closure

Have the pairs share their bar graph with another group and share their answers to the
questions. Then, bring the class together and go through the questions. Make sure to emphasize
appropriate units and the usefulness of bar graphs. At the end, have the students hand in their
notebook paper and email or print out their bar graphs.

To save the graphs the students will need to copy the graphs onto Word documents.

If you use Macs, hold down shift+command+4 and your pointer will become a cross like shape
with a circle in the middle. You can click and drag over the bar graph and this will take a
picture of the image and it will be saved on the desktop and you can insert this image into
a Word document.

If you use PCs, select the key on the keyboard marked "Print Screen." You can now edit he
image in Pain and then insert the image file into your Word document.

Alternate Outline

This lesson can be rearranged in several ways:

Instead of having the students research their chosen items, provide the class with a list of
things with heights already found. Have the students select 4 things from that list to compare.
This will take less time since the research aspect will not exist.

Have the students compare only things that are really large or things that are really small.
This will provide their assignment with more structure and reduce trouble with conversions.

Suggested Follow-Up

After the discussions and activities, have the students print out their bar graphs and put them
onto a bulletin board in the classroom. Reference the bar graphs when doing further exploration
with bar graphs such as creating their own.