A graph is a tool for visually depicting the results of recorded and analyzed data. To learn about graphs, is important for children in order for them to acquire basic knowledge about how to not only gather and scrutinize data, but also to develop competency in counting, sorting, comparing and observing. Understanding about a math graph starts, for young children, by means of using real items. The skill gradually develops to being able to utilize pictures of items (rather than real items) and then children are capable of making a graph that includes mathematical information methods such as using tally marks and x’s etc. to show information.

**Teaching Children about Graph Math Projects: Making Real Item Graphs**

One approach to teach about math graphs is to attach masking tape to the floor to make four rows that are about 5 feet long and have about 1 foot in between the rows. Prior to starting this project, collect 4 different varieties of vegetables. Be sure to have at least one vegetable for each child. Place a piece of each kind of vegetable on the left side of each row. Ask the children to come up to the graph, one at a time, and put their vegetable in the row that matches the vegetable at the beginning of the row. Once all of the vegetables have been placed in the correct rows, ask the children to count how many vegetables there are in each row. When this is completed ask the children questions such as: which row has the most vegetables, which row has the least vegetables.

**Teaching Children about Graph Math Projects: Making Picture Graphs**

Purchase a large sheet of poster board and divide it into two columns with a piece of colored tape. Paste a picture of a swing set at the top of the left hand column and paste a picture of a teeter totter at the top of the right hand column. Have enough pictures of swing sets and teeter totters for each child to be able to pick which one they like to play on the most. When all the children have a selected the picture of the toy they like to play on the most, have them come up to the poster board and tape their picture in the column that matches their picture. When all of the children have taped their picture to the poster board, ask the class to count together the number of pictures in each column and write that number at the bottom of the columns with a marker. When this is completed, ask the children questions such as: which column or toy had the most pictures, which column had the least pictures and what toy is the most liked?

Teaching children about how to understand the world of math by the use of a graph is a start on helping them begin to see the world in a little different way.

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