Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Survey Says (Multi-Day Activity)

Elinor Mount-Simmons


This is a fun conclusion to unit on graphs. Learners brainstorm and create surveys to disseminate to all homerooms. From this input, learners work cooperatively to create line, bar and picture graphs.


The student generates and collects data for analysis.

The student chooses appropriate titles, scales, labels, keys, and intervals for displaying data in graphs.

The student constructs, interprets, and explains displays of data, such as tables and graphs (single- and multiple-bar graphs and single- and multiple- line graphs).


-Bulletin board paper
- 3 Calculators
- Rulers


1. Unit of graphing taught prior to activity.
2. Review of lesson before activity begins.
3. Necessary materials gathered.


Day 1
1. Teacher reviews information previously taught on-line, bar, and picture graphs.
2. Learners are informed that they will create line, bar and picture graphs of the school’s student body favorites.
3. Learners are asked about their favorite foods, sport, subject and color.
4. Learners brainstorm data to be included on school-wide surveys other than the four listed above. Can include up to 10 or 12 favorites with 5 choices each. Suggestions can include data such as favorite food, favorite sport, favorite subject, favorite color, etc.
5. Ideas are written on chalkboard.
6. After all ideas are submitted, 10 to 12 are agreed upon.
7. Survey is created and sent to office to be run off. (One per homeroom)

Day 2
8. Survey is checked by teacher for accuracy.
9. Survey is sent to all homerooms in the school.

Day 3-5
10. Teachers are asked to poll their learners and complete survey.
11. Once polled, teachers are asked to return completed surveys within 2-3 working days to the teacher.

Day 6
12. Teacher passes to each learner a class’ survey.
13. On chalkboard, teacher writes the 10-12 favorites with the choices listed under each.
14. Teacher calls out each choice and asks for each learner to give the number on his or her survey for that choice. (This will take some time.)
15. Three learners will use calculators and enter numbers as they are called out.
16. The total for each choice is written on the chalkboard under the appropriate heading.
17. This information is left on chalkboard for the next day’s use.
Day 7
18. Learners are divided into groups (2-4 learners per group),—one group for each favorite. (If you had 10 favorites surveyed, you have 10 groups. If you had 12 favorite surveys, then you will have 12 groups.)
19. Once divided, randomly assign each group a specific graph--line graph, bar graph and picture graph. (If you have 10 groups, 3 will create line graphs, 3 create picture graphs and 4 create bar-or any combination of 10. If you have 12 groups, 4 groups work on each graph.)
20. Using data from homeroom classes, groups work co-operatively and create rough drafts.
21. Rough drafts are submitted to teacher for final approval.

Day 8
22. From approved rough draft, groups create big, colorful graphic displays on bulletin board paper.

Day 9
23. When completed, spokesperson from each group will make oral presentation to class.
24. Following oral presentations, graphs are displayed in common areas of school, such as library, lunchroom, and/or office areas.

25. Using the class favorites agreed to by learners during brainstorming session at beginning of project, learners will have a class party. On party day, favorite colors are worn, favorite foods are eaten, favorite subject is taught all day, etc. Generally a fun way to end a 2-week learning activity.


MA.E. – Students generate and collect data for analysis.
Teacher checks learner-created survey sheet to be sure all appropriate information has been included.
MA.E. – Students choose appropriate titles, scales, labels, keys, and intervals for displaying data in graphs.
Teacher makes visual check of rough draft submitted to be sure it conforms to acceptable standards of graphing.
MA.E. – Students construct, interpret, and explains displays of data.
Teacher checks and approves completed graphs and listens to oral presentations by students about their particular graph.


Since this is a review activity, learners must have knowledge of line, bar and picture graphs prior to beginning activity. Also knowledge of how to use a calculator is necessary for the three who will utilize these.
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