Beacon Lesson Plan Library


Kathy Pajak


The student will learn to make a bar graph.


The student solves problems by generating, collecting, organizing, displaying, and analyzing data using histograms, bar graphs, circle graphs, line graphs, pictographs, and charts.


-Internet accessible computers
-Practice pages exploring bar graphs
-Paper plates


1. Teacher will purchase one bag of Skittles per student.
2. Set up the activity center with paper plates, Skittles, crayons, paper, and pencils.
3. Turn on computers and load the Web activity -How It All Stacks Up.-


Whole Group activity

1. The teacher will introduce how to make a bar graph by first surveying the students to see how many students have brown, blue, gray, or green eyes.

2. As the survey is taken, the teacher will complete a data chart for the number of brown, blue, gray or green-eyed students.

3. The teacher will draw the side (shows numbers) and bottom (shows color) of a graph and label the graph.

4. The teacher will draw a bar on the graph showing how many students have which color eyes. (There will be one bar for each color).

5. The teacher will have several students come to the board and take turns making data charts and bar graphs for items such as color of hair, pets, birth months, etc.

Divide students into three rotating groups.

Group 1:
Complete practice work at desks. Turn in work and place in math folder to be graded.

Group 2:
Complete the Web lesson, -How It All Stacks Up- at the computer workstations.

Group 3:
Complete the SkittleGraph activity at an activity center.

The SkittleGraph activity is described below:

1. Each student will receive a bag of Skittles.

2. Each student will open the bag and separate the Skittles on the paper plate according to color.

3. Each student will make a data chart on the paper provided.

4. Each student will complete a bar graph showing the different colors of Skittles on the paper provided. Each student should be encouraged to color the bar according to the color of the Skittles he or she is graphing.

5. Each student may compare his or her bar graph with others in the group.

6. Students may enjoy their Skittles.


When all rotations have been completed, the class will come back together and discuss what they have learned about bar graphs.


Teacher observation of the following:
1. Bar graph title is correct.
2. X axis of the graph has been labeled
3. Y axis of the graph has been labeled
4. The bars must be drawn on the graph to the appropriate level according to the data given.

Web Links

This is an interactive Student Web Lesson.
How It All Stacks Up

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