Pin it!
Google Plus

Tally Time

Data Analysis and Probability
Grace M. Burton
Location: unknown

Students tally data about food preferences and learn the convention of displaying a set of five tallies. Students also answer pose and answer questions about the data.

Distribute a copy of the Food Pyramid to each student, or copy this image to a transparency sheet and display it on the overhead projector.

overhead Food Pyramid Overhead

The image represents the Food Pyramid (replaced by the MyPlate program in 2011), as developed by the United States Department of Agriculture:

1328 mypyramid 4c 

Following are explanations of each of the colors in the Food Pyramid:

Orange = Grains
Green = Vegetables
Red = Fruits
Yellow = Oils
Blue = Milk
Purple = Meat and Beans

To begin a discussion of healthy foods call on volunteers to choose the name of any food group and list examples of foods that belong in that category.

To introduce the tally chart, invite the students to place, one at a time, a tally in the correct row to describe how they feel about eating carrots.

I like carrots 
I do not like carrots 

When all the students have recorded their opinion, call on a volunteer to count the number of tallies in each row and record the number at the end of the row. Ask the students whether they have ever seen a way to record that would make the counting easier. If they have not, introduce the five-bar notation. Record the fifth entry by making a diagonal mark across the first four lines:

1328 image 4 

Call on a volunteer to redraw the tallies using the grouping notation. Encourage discussion of the tally chart by using the Questions for Students below.

Then ask the students to look at a second row from the bottom of the Food Pyramid. Assign them to pairs and ask them to list as many vegetables as they can. As they are working, draw a tally chart with several rows on the board.

When the students are ready, ask them to name the vegetables they listed. As each new vegetable is named, write its name in the far left column of the tally chart. Place a tally after the name of each vegetable as it is mentioned. When all the pairs have reported, ask the students how many times each item was listed, then record that numeral at the end of the row. Now ask the students to determine which four entries received the most mentions. Give each student a copy of the Tally Chart Format Activity Sheet. Ask the students to make a tally chart for those four choices.

pdficon Tally Chart Format Activity Sheet

Allow students to check one another's work and to discuss the tally charts that they create.

Assessment Option

At this stage of the unit, it is important to know whether students can do the following:
  • Collect real-world data
  • Classify data according to a given attribute
  • Create a tally chart to record data
  • Pose questions about the data set that can be answered from the representation.
Collecting notes on the Class Notes enables you to document the learning of individual students and to use that information for planning and providing feedback to students, parents, and others. Students’ work completed in this lesson provides evidence of student understanding and achievement.
Move on to the next lesson, Can You Picture It? 

Questions for Students 

1. How did we display our data? How did we make it easier to count the tallies in the tally graph? Why did that notation make it easier?

[We displayed our data using tally marks. After every four tallies, we placed a diagonal mark to indicate the fifth tally. This notation was helpful because we could quickly count the number of tally marks.]

2. Can you name the categories that we collected data about for the second tally chart? How did we show what we found out?

[Answers will depend upon student responses.]

3. What questions can you answer from looking at the tally graph?

[You can tell how many there are of each category, and which category had more items than another.]

Teacher Reflection 

  • Were all students able to contribute to the creation of the tally chart?
  • Were all students able to answer questions from the tally chart?
  • Is there anything I should change in the next lesson?
Data Analysis and Probability

Can You Picture It?

This lesson builds on the experiences of the previous lesson. Students collect data about favorite vegetables and record the data in a pictograph and interpret this representation. They also create and use legends for the pictograph.
Data Analysis and Probability

Healthy Eating

Students collect data about classmates' healthy food knowledge. They create bar graphs, pose and answer questions about the data by looking at the graphs, and find the range and mode.
Data Analysis and Probability

What Is Your Favorite?

Students make human bar graphs and circle graphs, then draw them on paper and use a Web site to generate them. Posing and answering questions using the graphs will give the students an opportunity to apply their problem-solving and communication skills. They will also find the mode for a set of data.
Data Analysis and Probability

Let's Compare

Students collect numerical data, generate graphs, and compare two data sets. They also find the mean, mode, median, and range of the data sets. Students communicate with each other and the teacher and practice their problem-solving skills.
Data Analysis and Probability

Alphabet Soup

In this lesson, students construct box-and-whisker plots. Students use the box-and-whisker plots to identify the mean, mode, median, and range of the data set. Representation is the major focus of this lesson.
Data Analysis and Probability

Glyphs for All Reasons

Students learn a powerful way to display data, the glyph. Representation, communication, and problem solving are important parts of this lesson.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Collect and tally real-world data and display that data in a tally chart.
  • Classify data according to a given attribute.
  • Pose questions about the data that can be answered from the graphs.

NCTM Standards and Expectations

  • Design investigations to address a question and consider how data-collection methods affect the nature of the data set.
  • Collect data using observations, surveys, and experiments.