Math Lit: Using any text for data

We just wrapped up our Data chapter and I wanted to share one of the lessons we did. The best thing about this activity is that you could use any book from your classroom library. This makes it a great lesson to leave for a substitute, also.

This lesson was modeled last year by our fabulous math coach and I really like the book she used:

Susan Meddaugh

I liked it so much that I picked up a copy of the book over the summer. My students really enjoyed the book when I used it for a read aloud prior to doing the activity. I could have easily used any other text, including something from the basal reader, so don't feel you must use this one.

After reading, we did a sequencing activity, using sentence strips.

These could be sentences you write to summarize the story, or sentences right out of the text. After sequencing, distribute the sentence strips to small groups of students. Have students make a tally table for the letters -- either student created or one pre-made by the teacher -- and show them how to start with the first letter of the sentence and record a tally for each letter. They can then make a frequency table for their data also.

It's fun to combine everyone's data and use the new frequency table to find out which letters are used the most. Need practice with bar graphs? Have students create a bar graph of the vowels!

1 comment

  1. What a good idea. I never thought to use literature to collect data for math. Thanks for the integration idea!
    The Balanced Classroom


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