Bar Graph Lesson Plan

Bar Graph Lesson Plan

Bar Graph Lesson Plan

6th grade math10/09/09

Intern: Laurie ReederMentor: Stuart Allen

Objectives: Students will be able to collect data and create a data table and bar graph from the data. Students will be able to identify and label all the component parts of a bar graph.

Focusing Question: Why is it useful to present data with a bar graph?

Connection/Rationale: This is a continuation of our work on recording and presenting data. “You will be using bar graphs throughout your school career in math, science, social studies, economics, and others. All kinds of professions use bar graphs to present data (show school newsletter) you will run into these throughout your adult life.”


Materials: Student journals, white board, individual packages of Halloween-sized M & M’s, data table templates, graph paper, vocabulary words

Hook: “Today’s lesson will be interesting and delicious! First you must collect the data, then you may eat it!”

Learning Experiences:

I. Start with a directed lesson on bar graphs.

Ask questions: What is data? (pieces of information that often numerical in value)

What is a graph? (A visual way of presenting data) What is a bar graph? (Used to compare categories of data)

Show data table for pets in Mr. Zorg’s class

Draw and label a bar graph on the board (students will do so in their journals)

Include: x, horizontal axis = category, y, vertical axis = frequency, where they meet=0

1. Scale vs. Interval (interval size should allow for highest frequency value to be at least ½ way up graph.

2. Label horizontal and vertical axis

3. Draw bars for each category

4. Specific title for graph

II: Introduce activity: each student will receive a small bag of m & m candy, data table sheet and graph paper.

  • Open candy bag and count number of each color of candy and record in the data table
  • Make a bar graph using the data from your data table
  • Criteria for the graph:
  1. Axis are labeled
  2. Categories are labeled
  3. Scale/interval is appropriate for the graph—high frequency at least ½ way up
  4. Work is neat…colored pencil only
  5. Space between bars
  6. Title is specific

Adaptations/accommodations: Information is presented in several ways—visually, auditorally, and kinesthetically and the student’s taste buds will also be engaged!

Closure: If time allows, students will share data and create a second graph based on their group’s shared data. We will also use the data for a future lesson on line plots.

Assessment: Graphs will show whether the students have adhered to the criteria. Students will be asked to share their findings with the group and then the group will share with the class as a whole.

Extension: Create a line plot for blue candies based on data from the entire class

State Standards:

Data, statistics, probability:

M(DSP)6-1: Interprets graphs

M(DSP)6-3: Organizes and displays data


M(CCR)8-2: Students will create and use representations to communicate mathematical ideas and convert between representations (table to graph)