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5-Minute Fillers: Graphing and More

Volume 26

Quick Survey and Graph
Builds graphing skills

Have prepared index cards or construction paper (cut to the size of index cards) in two colors; you should have as many cards of each color as you do students. Quickly go around the room and stick a small piece of tape on each student's desk. Then pose a survey question of fact or opinion that has a simple yes or no answer. [See sample questions below.] Direct students who answer "Yes" to the question to come and get a card of one color and tape it to the board so that each card rests directly above the one below it; students who answer "No" do the same with a different colored card. The cards have formed a simple bar graph that illustrates students' responses to the question. Have students explain the survey results by looking at the graph they created.

Alternate ideas: You could provide sticky notes to students. With older students, you might ask questions that have more than two responses; you will need to have cards of as many colors as there are response possibilities.

This activity lends itself to taking a survey before or after (or before and after) a discussion about issues in the local, national, or world news headlines. Following are some sample questions that are general in nature:

  • Do you have an older brother?
  • Are leash laws for pets a good idea?
  • Were you born in the first half of the year (January to June) or the second half (July to December)?
  • Do you think students should wear uniforms to school?
  • Do you have a TV in your bedroom?


Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World®
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