**Goals/Rational**e: We chose this lesson because it is imperative
that children learn how to collect and graph data. In addition, it
is also important that children learn how to interpret graphed data as
well.

**Focus Content Area:** In this lesson, the students will focus
on:

-recognizing and understanding a bar graph and its components

-use data to create a bar graph

**Target Grade Levels: ** 2nd/3rd grade

**NCTM Standards: **-Collect data using observations, surveys,
and experiments

-Represent data using tables and graphs such as bar graphs

These Standards are met as a result of the activity in general. The students will be collecting data from observations and converting the found data into bar graphs.

**ISBE Standards:** Organize and display data using
pictures, tallies, tables, charts, bar graphs, etc. As a result of observation
and data collection, the students will engage in creating bar graphs, thus
fulfilling the aforementioned Standards.

**Setting/Context/Problem:** To help the children relate this lesson
to their everyday lives, it was decided that the framework of the lesson
would be based on recycling. Not only will the children be learning
about graphing, but they will find out how recycling plays a role in their
lives. The main purpose of this lesson is to not only introduce the
children to bar graphs, but to help them see that they can apply this lesson
to things in the environment around them, in this case, recycling.

**Materials/Resources: **-Dry erase or chalk board

-Dry erase markers or chalk

-Graph paper

-Sample bar graph on a transparency

-Pieces of recycling (paper, plastic, cardboard, aluminum, etc)

**Instructional Procedure:**

**Introduction - **The lesson will begin with a few questions to
be directed to the students as a type of informal introduction to
bar graphs. They will be asked to look back, and use, prior knowledge.

**Sample questions:**

-What is a graph?

-Where have you seen graphs?

-Name some different kinds of graphs

After asking a few general questions, use the overhead graph
to go over the basic parts of a bar graph.

-Title

-Where do you normally find a title?

Refer directly to the sample overhead graph.

-What is this graph about?

-Labels

-What are the categories of the graph?

-Numbering

-What number increments are used?

-Information

-What information can be graphed?

After discussing the sample graph, introduce recycling topic. Distribute recycling trash piles among desks. Have the students observe what they see. After a few minutes, go through, step-by-step, having class discuss and suggest number increments to be used, appropriate categories to be used, and preparing the title and labels together, jotting all of the information down on the overhead.

When all components have been discussed, have the children work either alone or with a partner to develop a bar graph reflecting their observations and all of the required bar graph components.In closing, have children present and explain the bar graphs that they created.

**Assessment:** The assessment method would take multiple forms.
First and foremost, observation throughout class will undoubtedly play
a huge role. It is important that the teacher keep a close eye on
all students, giving her an opportunity to see firsthand how children are
progressing through a lesson. The other form of assessment will be
the work the children present. The children will have to be able
to explain why they did what they did on the graph which will show either
a firm understanding or lack thereof.

**Adaptations: ** In the event that there is a student with
learning difficulties, especially in math, an adaptation would obviously
have to be made. In the case that the student just needs a little
extra assistance when learning something new, it might be a good idea to
pair that particular student up with a student who understands bar graphs.
If there is one or more students who are having difficulties understanding
the bar graph concept, it would be beneficial to all to go over the sample
graph more closely. In addition, it would help to have the students,
instead of just offering suggestions, to decide as a class what number
increments to use, which categories to use, and prepare the title and labels
together.

**Extensions:** There are many extension activities that could
be used in conjunction with this bar graph lesson. The children could
utilize the Internet to search for bar graphs used to convey official recycling
information. This would allow them to see that the work that they
did in class is actually used in real life to show numbers and trends in
recycling.

In addition, the students could take the skills that they developed during the lesson to their home to develop a bar graph based on the recycling trash at their homes. They could record and graph the data based upon the criterion discussed in class.

Finally, since the entire unit is based on recycling, an appropriate culminating activity, or just an activity in general, might be a planned trip to a recycling plant. Here the students could see for themselves how important what they are discussing in class is. They would also be able to see the different kinds of graphs utilized at the plant.