# Introduction to Bar Graphs

Shodor > Interactivate > Lessons > Introduction to Bar Graphs

### Abstract

This lesson allows students to learn what bar graphs are used for, how to interpret the data presented, and how to organize their own data using bar graphs.

### Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will:

• practice making bar graphs.
• be able to interpret bar graphs.
• ask a question, collect data about that question, and create a bar graph to answer their question.

### Student Prerequisites

• Technological: Students must be able to:
• perform basic mouse manipulations such as point, click and drag.
• use a browser for experimenting with the activities.

### Key Terms

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

### Lesson Outline

1. Focus and Review

• Begin by calling on each student in the class and asking what color his/her eyes are.
• As each student answers make a tally mark by the appropriate color.
• Ask the students to arrange the information displayed on the board in a way that it is easy to read on a sheet of paper.
• Monitor the students' progress.

2. Objectives

Students will:

• practice making bar graphs.
• be able to interpret bar graphs.
• ask a question, collect data about that question, and create a bar graph to answer their question.

3. Teacher Input

• Congratulate the students on their efforts.
• If any student happens to arrange their information in a bar graph-like-manner use his/her graph as an example.
• If not, explain to the students that some people choose to arrange their data in what is known as a bar graph.
• Explain the term bar graph.
• Explain how to arrange data using a bar graph.

4. Guided Practice

• Have the students help you arrange the data located on the board into a bar graph.
• Describe to the students how to use the Bar Graph Shape Sorter applet.
• Instruct the students to run through several sets of shapes to get a feel for the program.
• Record information about the types of pants people are wearing (Pants, jeans, dresses, or shorts).
• Instruct the students on how to use the Bar Graph applet.
• Have the students use the Bar Graph applet to graph the data collected about what type of pants people in the class wear.

5. Independent Practice

• Instruct the kids to come up with a question they would like to answer by surveying their classmates.
• You may want to give them a few sample questions to choose from if they cannot come up with one on their own:
• Shoe Size
• Birth Month
• Favorite Color
• Hair Color
• Favorite Book
• Favorite Television Show
• Have the students question their classmates and then create a bar graph either on paper or by using the Bar Graph applet

6. Closure

• Choose several students to share their bar graphs with the class.
• Cover all pertinent vocabulary.

### Alternate Outline

For younger students, you may want to hand them a bag of shapes and have them create a bar graph similar to those found in the Bar Graph Shape Sorter applet, rather than having them survey the class and creating a bar graph using the Bar Graph applet.

### Suggested Follow-Up

Students can learn about other graphical representations of data, including the histogram. The Histograms and Bar Graphs lesson helps students to understand the differences between these two representations.