Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Moooooove into Graphing

Pam Carroll


And on this farm we have a cow, E-I , E-I-O! Students explore graphing software and create their own graph of farm animals. Then students analyze their graph using the teacher made worksheet (see Associated File).


The student uses mathematical language to read and interpret data on a simple concrete graph, pictorial graph, or chart.

The student explores computer graphing software.


- Computer/printer
- One copy of [The Graph Club, ] software, Tom Snyder Productions. If you can borrow another copy form a peer teacher, this activity will possibly take less time.
- A copy of the farm graph worksheet for each student (see Associated File).
- Plastic models or pictures of farm animals gathered from magazines or teacher supply store.


1. Set up computer/printer with appropriate software for creating graphs.
2. Practice using [The Graph Club] software so that you know how to set up a farm animal graph for your students to use. Also, become familiar with how to create a graph so that you can show your students what to do if they get stuck or if they make a mistake.
3. Make copies of the farm graph worksheet, one for each student in your class (see Associated file).
4. Collect plastic farm animals or pictures of farm animals from peer teachers or magazines or teacher supply stores.


1. Display plastic farm animals and/or pictures of farm animals.

2. Ask students if they have ever been to a farm.

3. Encourage students to share their experiences about farms or farm animals.

4. Explain that today the class will use the computer to make a graph of farm animals and that after they have created and printed their own graph, they will answer some questions about or analyze their graph.

5. Model for the students how to create a graph using [The Graph Club] software. Show how to place the desired number of each farm animal on the graph. Demonstrate how to print a graph when it is completed. Also show students how to delete an animal and how to clear the graph once it is printed so it is ready for the next student to use.

6. Discuss the meaning of words like most, least, and how many. Explain that students will be reading and using these words on a worksheet after they create their farm animal graph.

7. Allow time for each student to go to the computer and create and print their own graph of farm animals. Students should decide how many of each animal they want on their graph. Each childís graph will be different. As a note, encourage the students to graph a different amount for each animal. It is not crucial, but it will make the worksheet easier to fill out.

8. As each student completes their graph instruct them to complete the worksheet that analyzes their graph. Help with words or questions with which students may need assistance.


Use student generated farm graph and worksheet (see Associated Files) to formatively assess the studentís ability to:

- Explore computer graphing software and create an individual graph and
- Use mathematical language to read and interpret a simple graph.

The teacher provides directions and corrective feedback for students in creating and interpreting graphs. Because each student is creating their own graph, each worksheet will need to be checked for correct answers according to individual graphs.


The following ideas can be incorporated with this lesson:

1. Students can glue their completed graph and accompanying worksheet to a 12 x 18 piece of construction paper for display.
2. Students compare the type of graph they chose to create with those of their classmates. There are several choices of graphs to print from [The Graph Club] including picture graph, circle graph, line graph, and bar graph. Students discuss why one graph may be easier to read than another or why one graph type may be better for a farm animal graph than the others.
3. This activity can also be used as one of several farm activity stations through which students rotate. Examples of other farm activity stations could be:
-Measure and weigh a variety of plastic farm animals.
-Sort and graph a classroom collection of plastic farm animals.
-Place a tape and several copies of a farm story at your class listening station.
-Type a report or several facts about a selected farm animal.
-Work cooperatively to complete a 100 piece puzzle of a farm animal or farm scene.
-Find pictures in magazines and cut out to make a chart of products that come from farm animals. Examples could be leather clothes or shoes, eggs, milk, bacon, ham, hamburgers, etc.
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