In this lesson, children will use a survey sheet to determine whether their classmates have any pets and what pets they have.
(See Step 5: Adapt lesson for toddlers or preschoolers.)
Data Analysis and Probability
This lesson will help toddlers and preschoolers meet the following educational standards:
- Select and use appropriate statistical methods to analyze data
After this lesson, toddlers and preschoolers should be more proficient at:
- Describing parts of the data and the set of data as a whole to determine what the data shows
Lesson plan for toddlers/preschoolers
Step 1: Gather materials.
- Data recording sheets (ClassroomPetSurvey)
- Pencils or crayons and clipboards
- An easel and chart paper to record the children’s results
Note: Small parts pose a choking hazard and are not appropriate for children age five or under. Be sure to choose lesson materials that meet safety requirements.
Step 2: Introduce activity.
- Gather the children in a circle and say: “Today we are going to take a survey asking how many of us have pets.”
- Explain that, today, they will engage in a survey that asks if the children in the room have a cat, a dog, a hamster, a goldfish or some other type of animal.
- Introduce the “Classroom Survey” sheet. Explain the Other Animal category. Say: “When you are surveying your classmates, you may find that they have an animal that is not on this sheet. If that is the case, check YES in the Other Animal category. When we come back together with our results, we will write down all of the other animals that we have as pets.”
- Model how to ask a question and allow the children to survey all of the other children in the class. They will each record their answers on their survey sheet
Step 3: Engage children in lesson activities.
- Give each child a recording sheet, a pencil and a clipboard so that the children can move freely around the room.
- Circulate around the room to see if the children are correctly recording their data and putting their x’s in the proper places.
- When the children have collected their data, ask them to gather together and transfer their data onto the chart paper. Fashion the chart paper to look like the recording sheet, but make room for the Other Animal category.
- When the data has been recorded, discuss the results. Ask:
- “How many of us have cats?”
- “How many of us have dogs?”
- “How many of us have hamsters?”
- “How many of us have fish?”
- “How many of us have other animals? What kind?”
- “How many of us don’t have any pets?”
- Ask “more than, less than” questions about the collected data, such as:
- “Do more children have dogs than cats?”
- “What types of pets do most children have?”
- “Do more children have pets or not have pets?”
Step 4: Vocabulary.
- Data: Facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis (e.g.,”Record the data that we have collected onto our recording sheets.”)
- Survey: A method of collecting data by asking people questions (e.g.,”We will survey our friends to see who has pets and what kinds of pets they have.”)
- Record: To write down or indicate (e.g.,”Record your data.”)
Step 5: Adapt lesson for toddlers or preschoolers.
Adapt Lesson for Toddlers
- Have trouble organizing their information
Child care providers may:
- Tell the children to ask just one question at a time, such as “Do you have a dog?” and then record the results
Adapt Lesson for Preschoolers
- Be able to analyze their data in a more meaningful manner
Child care providers may:
- Ask “more than, less than” questions of the data collected, such as: “Do more children have dogs than cats?” “What kinds of pets do most children have?” “Are there more children who have pets or more who don’t?
- Guess Who My Favorite Person Is? by Byrd Baylor (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992)
- You’re a Hero, Daley B! by Jon Blake (New York: Candlewick Press, 1992)
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