A really fun and easy way to introduce data collection to young learners is by graphing. Graphing helps students gain valuable experience with counting, data analysis, sorting, and comparing.
It also introduces them to the skill of critical thinking. You may think that teaching graphing skills to kindergartners sounds like a mountainous task, but it’s very simple and there are different ways to do it.
Fun Graphing Activities For Kindergarten
These awesomely fun and educational kindergarten graphing activities are not only for a Math lesson or during your homeschool schedule. They will help turn young learners into critical thinkers in no time!
Survey Questions – Yes or No
One of my favorite graph activities to do with Kindergartners or even first grade students is to ask yes or no questions. I do this no a regular basis. They are quick and simple to put together and you learn about each other at the same time.
I’ve used these as a part of morning work or a math center. Sharing what we observe about the graph comes afterwards or even later in the school day. This is a fun graphing lesson for the children and easy for teachers to implement. This activity often inspires kids to make their own survey and graph the results.
These simple questions also expose Kindergartners to different concepts of print, common sight words, and question marks.
Here are 50 Yes or No Questions to Graph.
I hope this list will get you started and inspire you to come up with more.
How to Set It Up
If you are using a pocket chart, put the question at the top of the pocket chart. At the bottom of the chart, put the words yes and no. Then, your students can put their name card or a sticky note in a pocket above their answer.
A white board is easy to use too. Write the question at the top and yes and no at the bottom (or on the sides for horizontal bar graphs). Then, students can use a magnetic name strip, a sticky note, or a different type of magnet to graph their answer.
Draw your graph on a poster board. Make sure that you have enough room on the graph in case students color in all yes answers or no answers. Laminate the poster. Your students can use a dry erase marker to put a check or x on the graph. You can also use sticky notes for this instead of a dry erase marker if you don’t want to laminate it.
Often I will write an impromptu yes or no question on the board that goes with a book we have just read. The first step is I ask the students to raise their hand to vote. Then, I draw tally marks on the board under the answer. This is a great way to expose young kids to tally marks.
Then, we count the tally marks and I write the numeral below it. This is a quick way to practice number recognition and it’s tons of fun because they are taking a vote about something that is important to them about what they just read or talked to each other about.
This is the perfect time to work in new vocabulary such as equal, unanimous vote, more than, less than, etc.
Pie Charts give kids an easy visual for understanding data. This type of graph can sometimes feel overwhelming to expose Kindergartners to, but if it is done in a meaningful way like recording weather, you will be successful.
To graph the weather of the entire month, print a pie chart that is divided into 30 sections or draw your own. Only divide it into 7 sections to graph the weather of a week. Laminate it and put it on the wall. Cut 30 pie pieces of different colors. To start in a simple way, just cut red and blue pie pieces that represent cold and hot days.
Later in the year you can cut different colors for sunny, rainy, windy, etc. Laminate the pieces and apply velcro to your pie graph and the pie pieces. You can also use tape on the back of the pieces. If everything is laminated, you will be able to use this it for the entire school year.
Add a piece to the pie graph each day. When the entire pie is full, have your students help you sort the pieces by color and put them back onto the pie graph so you can see which had more. You can also introduce words like equal and half. Note: you will need to fill in the pie chart for the weekend days.
Graphing With M&M’s
A super fun and unique way to teach a graphing math lesson is by using candy. What candy is better to use than M&M’s? They are colorful, they are chocolate, and best of all, they are hands on. The important thing is that they have a lot of fun with graphing.
Source: Ducks ‘N A Row
How about making your own bar graphs using Legos. This is the perfect way to encourage independent practice. Grab a handful of Legos and challenge your child to sort them into stacks. After they are sorted into a 3D graph, count the amount in each stack and label them with numerals. You can also skip the labeling step and talk about which color had the most, least, or equal stacks.
Graphing with a handful of real things that you find around the house or classroom is a quick and effective way to have lots of practice. Try a handful of beads, unifix cubes, buttons, or even graph Beanie Boos birthdays. Being able to talk about predictions and results is one of the most important Math skills for children.
Source: The Measured Mom
Measuring and Graphing Height
Here’s an awesome way to engage students by combing two math concepts, measuring and graphing. Use real objects to measure the height of each student. Then, graph the results. There are a variety of ways you can do this activity.
One idea is to have students trace the outline of their bodies and then measure their own height.
Another idea is to have a student stand tall, mark their height with tape on the wall, and then measure. You don’t have to use inches or feet to measure height. Use common items around the house or classroom. For example, how many blocks tall are you? How many pencils tall? How many shoes tall or books tall?
Source: Teach Engineering
Grinch Day Graphing
Another really fun way to teach graphing, especially around the holidays, is to have the kids create bar charts with candy and characters they recognize. This Grinch day graphing activity is perfect for both. You will need to enter an email address and your name to receive this cute Grinch graphing activity.
Source: Simply Kinder
Farm Animal Spin and Graph Activity
This spin and graph activity is great for small groups, independent practice, or a whole group activity. The activity is simple and it’s a great introduction to graphing and recording. Using a few simple classroom items, your students will be gathering data and becoming whizzes at graphing in no time.
Source: The Kindergarten Connection
This name graph activity hits just about every learning point you could want when teaching young children. From this simple free resource, your students will be counting, reading, working on letter recognition, practicing their writing, and practicing writing and spelling their own name.
This graphing resource uses the book Alma And How She Got Her Name to add more names to the student’s names graphs, but this can be done with almost any primary grade book that has several characters with names in it as well as the names in your class.
Source: Maya Smart
Zoo Animal Probability Graph
Kindergarten students love zoo animals. This next free graphing resource is great because not only will your students get more graphing practice, but they will also get to color this one and really make it their own. The activity can be done as an individual whole group or a small group activity, but either way, it gives kids what they need the most, and that’s more practice at becoming graphing experts.
Source: Heidi Songs
Favorite Color Bar Graph
This awesome graphing resource is great for getting kids social and having them survey other students or family members about their favorite color. “What’s your favorite color?” is a pretty common primary school age question.
Why not have the students survey one another, plot some tally marks, and then build a graph from the data they extracted from their survey question? What an absolutely fantastic way to get students working on several different types of graphing concepts. Students can also either create their own or use the provided response sheet.
Fruit Loop Graphing
The perfect graphing activity for young learners on St. Patrick’s Day! This free resource can be printed in color or black & white. Simply give each student a handful of Fruit Loops and have them graph by most, least, same, or whatever objective you need them to meet.
Source: Teachers Pay Teachers
Shark Graphing Activity
This graphing activity is sure to be a home run for any student that tries it. With a free printable worksheet and shark dice, students will be learning about graphing and probability while having the time of their life rolling dice. This free resource would be a fun activity for Shark Week or an ocean themed unit.
Source: Artsy Momma
Graphing is always a favorite for students. There is something about collecting data and creating a pie graph, bar graph, or picture graphs that get students excited to learn!