What Colour is Your Iris?

By Norah L’Esperance

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Curriculum – Data Management


  • For students to sort, classify, and display a variety of concrete objects, collect data, begin to read and describe displays of data
    • Sort, classify, and compare objects and describe the attributes used
    • Collect objects and data and make representations of their observations, using concrete graphs
    • Respond to and pose questions about data collection and graphs


Educator working one-on-one with students to make an observation of their eye colour, and to make the class graph. Then whole class discussion on the class graph. 


  • Mirrors
  • Sketch of an eye (one for each student)
  • Crayons
  • Tape
  • Chart paper with a title: “What Colour is Your Iris?” and labels (e.g., black, brown, blue, green, etc.)


  • Invite students (1 or 2 at a time) to come over and look in a mirror to see the colour of their eyes. Then have them colour in the sketch of an eye. 
  • Have the chart paper at their eye level, and help them find the right place for their particular eye colour.
  • Discern which students are ready to look at the graph in more depth. If the student seems interested, you can encourage them to do more observations. (e.g., “How many people said they have black eye?”) Some students may automatically start to point and count. If their one-to-one correspondence is off as they count, you can recount with them. 
  • Look at the graph as a whole group. Talk about what the graph is about. Talk about the fact that everyone has contributed to it. Analyze and count each of the columns. Write the number at the top of the graph.