Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Birthday Blast

Amy Brown


-Birthday Blast- will allow students to become familiar with their classmates birthdays as they gather information and interpret the results using a tally chart, a pictograph and 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.

The student designs experiments to answer class or personal questions, collects information, and interprets the results using statistics (range, mean, median, and mode) and pictographs, charts, bar graphs, circle graphs, and line graphs.


-A pencil per student
-A data collection sheet per student
-A copy of each of two graphing worksheets per student
-Colored pencils or crayons
-Overhead projector or board for group work
-Overhead marking pens


1. Prepare the overhead/board for introduction and class discussion
2. Gather and distribute all necessary worksheets to each student.
3. Connect computers to on-line practice lessons for student extensions.


1. The teacher begins this lesson by introducing/reviewing the words survey, data, chart and graph.
2. The teacher leads a discussion about why and when a person may find it necessary to collect data and organize it into a chart or a graph.
3. The teacher then conducts a survey of student information, such as their favorite colors and records the data onto a tally chart on the overhead or board. The teacher makes sure that he/she emphasizes the components of the tally chart as it is developed.
4. Next, the teacher explains that the information can be transposed to graph in order to organize and read the data. Discuss the types of graphs that will be used today.
5. The teacher then introduces the terms mean, median, mode, and range and explain how they are used in the comparision of the data that has been collected.
6. The teacher then models how to take the data from the tally chart and transfers it into a bar graph.
7. The teacher has a student title the graph, label the colors, and label the numbers.
8. Using the same data, The teacher makes a pictograph letting the students label the title, the colors and the pictograph key.
9. In a class discussion, the class compares the two graphs and analyzes the data gathered to determine their favorite colors and least favorite colors.
10. In a class discussion, the class analyzes the graphed data and determines the mean, median, mode and the range.
11. Then the teacher reviews the procedures taken to collect data, transfer the data into a graph and how to read the graphs. Repeat the procedure if necessary for understanding by collecting data about the color of hair, or favorite food.
12. If students are ready to proceed, the teacher then opens a discussion about birthdays. The students should know that they are going to be given the opportunity to find the most popular birth month in their class and the least popular birth month.
13. Student are then given the opportunity to survey their classmates using the Data Collection Worksheet and then complete the Graphing Worksheets using the information gathered. (Sheets are found in the associate file.) Students answer questions on Graphing Worksheet 2 to prepare for class discussion.
14. At the end of the session, the class will gather in a whole group setting to present and discuss the survey results, the graphs, and the answers to the data questions.


1. The teacher will assess by observing the students' presentation and discussion of survey results. The teacher will assess that the student can orally interpret and explain the data, the charts and the graphs. The teacher will assess that the students properly determine the mean, median, mode, and range of the data collected.
2. The tally chart and graphing worksheet will be collected and graded on accurate data collection, graph titles, labels and the correct display of information on the graphs.


1. The teacher may want students to interview classmates to collect, analyze and graph other kinds of data.
2. The teacher may want the students to work on on-line graphing lessons at the Beacon Learning Center.

Web Links

Web supplement for Birthday Blast
All the Parts

Web supplement for Birthday Blast
How It All Stacks Up

Web supplement for Birthday Blast
Kids Have Pets

Web supplement for Birthday Blast
Kinds of Graphs

Web supplement for Birthday Blast
Play Ball

Attached Files

Data collection and Graphing worksheet.     File Extension: pdf

Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.