The Power of Graphs and Glyphys


Graphs and glyphs are a creative and fun way to engage students in math while they collect, organize, analyze, and discuss data.  I can imagine how this would work very well in different grade levels.

In the Kindergarten room, the teacher could integrate an ELA and data collection (math) lesson together during the fall by going on a leaf hunt.  This lesson could incorporate books about leaves and the season of fall.  In addition, students could then graph the leaves that were collected.  By directing students with questioning, they could analyze many different aspects of their finds.  Leaves could be categorized by shape, color, size, preference, and many other criteria.  I loved the idea to use a shower curtain on the classroom floor  to define the graph area when using concrete materials.  Also, the teacher could draw a large grid on the white-board.  Students could then tape their leaves into the categories being analyzed.  Below is an example of analyzing leaves by color.

Wouldn’t a candy graph be a fun math activity for older students during Halloween or Valentine season?  Fourth or fifth graders could poll students in the classroom or go around the school or in the cafeteria to poll all the students (and teachers?) in the school.  Do younger students prefer different types of candy than older students?  What types of candy do teachers prefer?  What is the ratio of different categories of candy, i.e. what percent is chocolate, sugary, sweet/sour, gum, etc.? How fun 🙂

I found an example of a great use of glyphs with the “Who lives in your house” data collection pictured above.  What a great math lesson that could be combined with ELA or social studies.  This could also be a great way to have students get to know each other at the beginning of the year.  Each house is filled with squares of different colors depending upon who the student lives with.  Students could then group the glyphs into many different categories depending upon the questions asked ….. students with brothers, students with only brothers, students with no siblings, students with pets, etc.

What are some other ways that graphs and glyphs could be used?  Could we incorporate this math activity with other subjects to be more integrated with our teaching?


One thought on “The Power of Graphs and Glyphys

  1. I love the examples that you found and came up with for collecting and representing data and I’m sure that students would love them as well!!

    Graphs and glyphs could be used as introductory lessons for students and their teachers. Students could use a graph to demonstrate what their favorite subject in school is and glyphs could be used to demonstrate favorite color, how many siblings, what kind of pets they have, etc. Graphs and glyphs could easily be used to demonstrate any data collected in science lessons, in a social studies to demonstrate how many people live in an area (graph) and the geography of the area that they live in (glyph).


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