Thursday, October 28, 2010

Math: Graphing Picture Books and Activities

Books can be used for just about everything---including math!  The focus today is on books about graphing.  These graph books can be used to introduce or reinforce the concept, as a spring board to create your own lesson plans on graphs, or to coincide with lessons on graphs in a math textbook.  Check out these great titles at the library or at the bookstore!  Also included is a handout of Graphing Activities, ideas, lesson plans, and websites.

Graphing (ages 5-8) by Penny Dowdy
Miguel surveys shoppers and observes their buying habits in his family- owned garden center.  He uses the data to create a picture graph, a bar graph, and a Venn diagram.  This book is also interactive by prompting students to consider how they can apply these concepts to their lives and by asking questions about the data Miguel collects.   Vocabulary terms are also introduced, such as axis, data, label, and survey.   Vibrant, full color photographs and pictures accompany the text. 

Making Graphs Series (ages 4-8) by Vijaya Khisty Bodach 
There are four fantastic, bright books in this series: Pie Graphs, Pictographs, Bar Graphs, and Tally Charts.   The text is simple and direct.  Each book uses real world scenarios to teach about the various types of graphs.  For instance in Pie Graphs, they identify favorite types of pizza while in Bar Graphs, they diagram their favorite colors.  Each book includes large, brilliant photographs of children happily interacting with the data and creating graphs.  These books are a great way to get kids to think about what type of data they could collect and to consider the best way to display it (i.e. which type of graph). 

The Great Graph Contest (ages 5-8) by Loreen Leedy 
Two amphibian friends (a frog and a lizard) hold a contest to see who can make the best graphs.  Using adorable animals interacting, children are exposed to quantity graphs, circle graphs, bar graphs, and Venn diagrams. There are creative graphics, dialogue boxes, and fun pictures to illustrate the two friends compiling data and creating various types of graphs.  The illustrations are an imaginative combination of real photographs and cartoon pictures.  This book is the busiest (visually) of the four highlighted, but the examples are clear, humorous, and engaging.  

Graphs (ages 5-9) by Bonnie Bader
Gary has to go to a family reunion on a Saturday morning.  In order to pass the time more quickly and to complete his homework, he creates graphs based on his family’s preferences and appearances.  For instance, he uses a bar graph to show food preferences, a line graph to show temperature changes, and a pie graph to illustrate hair colors. When it is time to go, Gary has all the kids involved and excited about making graphs.  This book includes lots of narrative text that can be read by an adult or by readers who are independently reading short sentences and simple dialogue as well as comprehending basic plots.  It is a stage 2 book in the All Aboard Reading series. 

Also Check Out  
Great Graphs and Sensational Statistics: Games and Activities that Make Math Easy and Fun by Lynette Long.  It is packed full of directions and activities for all types of graphs.  The activities can be easily implimented at home or at school.   This book is geared for ages 8-12, but with adult help or minor modifications, it can be used for younger grades as well.  It will inspire you and get your creativity flowing! 

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