Introduction to Graphing

Curriculum – Data Management and Probability 

For students to sort, classify, and display a variety of concrete objects, collect data, begin to read and describe displays of data, and begin to explore the concept of probability in everyday contexts.


Students begin by standing to the side of the carpet. Students should have a good understanding of sorting by characteristics and should have done the “Sorting Apples” lesson, which includes making a graph.



  • Tell students you will be sorting them by a characteristic and that their job is to find out what characteristic you are sorting by.


  • Choose a characteristic (i.e. hair colour) and begin to sort children in columns. If you are sorting by hair colour, you might have three different columns – brown, blonde, and red.
  • Ask children to stand in a straight line just like a soldier.
    • Ask children what characteristic you have sorted by.
  • Ask children to sit in a circle and take off their shoes.
    • Put the shoes in a big pile.
    • Ask: “Is it easy to see to count the shoes when they are in a big pile?” Listen to their feedback.
  • Put the shoes in a straight line.
    • Ask: “Is it easier to count the shoes when they are in a straight line?”
  • Have students sort their own shoes using different characteristics (i.e. colour, size).
    • Children will take turns putting their own shoes in the appropriate column.


  • Show students the apple graph made during the previous lesson.
  • Explain that graphs are meant to convey information easily to another person.
  • Go through the necessary components of a graph. For example: title, column, rows, equal spacing between each section.
    • It is not necessary to add numbers just yet.

For next lesson see: “Building a graph

Based on JICS Kindergarten Teacher Carol Stephenson’s Mathematics Lesson