Source: Great Graphing

Sit and Be Counted
Children gather data about their birthdays for a bar graph, then form the graph by sitting in rows.
 Materials: masking tape, construction paper, index cards

Here's What To Do
1. Clear a large floor space. Tape a line about 24 feet long onto the floor. (In good weather, try this outside; if you do, make the line with chalk.) On a piece of construction paper, label the line MONTHS OF THE YEAR. Place index card labels for the 12 months at equal intervals along the line.

2. Sit cross-legged on the floor behind the month in which you were born. Then ask the children to take places on the floor behind the card that indicates the month in which they were born. Be sure children with the same birth month sit one behind the other in a row. You can call children up month by month or ask several children at a time to find their months until everyone is seated in rows.

3. Have the children look around at one another and describe what they see. Tell them that together they are a peoplegraph that shows data on class birthdays.

Wrap It Up

• Which month has the most birthdays? How does our people graph show this?
• Do any months have just one birthday? How do we know?
• How can you find two months with the same number of birthdays in them? What would you look for?
• How can you recognize a month where there are no birthdays?
• How many children were born in months that start with J? With M? With a vow?

And Then...

Try other people graphs. Gather birthday data for questions like these:
• In which season does your birthday fall?
• How many birthdays fall on odd-numbered days? On even-numbered days?
• Were you born in this community? In another community in our state? In a different state? In another country?
• How can we show this information on paper?

Tip: Photograph the people graph and display it on a bulletin board with other bar graphs.