Grade: Elementary
Subject: Mathematics

#2045. How Different Are We from Other Students

Mathematics, level: Elementary
Posted Thu Nov 30 11:55:51 PST 2000 by Brandy McClellan (
Indiana U. of Pa, Indiana, USA
Materials Required: Pen Pals, surveys, pencils,graph paper
Activity Time: 45min to an hour
Concepts Taught: collecting data and graphing

Lesson Plan for a Fifth Grade Unit on Diversity

Lesson: How different are we from other children

5th Grade- 24 students
Instruction Time- one hour


The purpose of this lesson is to introduce students to the idea that students from other countries are similar to them but how they are also different. The students have been writing to pen pals in Spain for a couple of months. They sent a survey to their pen pals two weeks ago and just got them back. The students also filled out a survey themselves. The students put all the data together that they collected from the two surveys. One column is the data that they collected from their survey and one is data collected from their pen pal surveys. Each group has a question from the survey and the data for the question. They took all the answers that they got for their one question and put them in a column. That data will be used to make the graphs. The students are learning how to do bar graphs with data. They will take the data that they have collected and make bar graphs for it.


1. TLW be able to make bar graphs from data that they have collected.

PI: The class will review how to make a bar graph. Each student will be given a worksheet to finish. After the students are done the class will go over the worksheet together. After completion of the worksheet the students will get into groups. They will graph the data that they have collected from the surveys. They class will then go over the graphs together and answer some questions.

2. TLW see how different or similar they are from other people.

PI: Students will hang their graphs on the chalkboard with tape. The whole class will then see if they can see any similarities between what the class likes and their friends from Spain. The class will hold a discussion on why there are differences between them and their friends from another country.


 Graph paper
 Pencils
 List of data
 Crayons
 Worksheets
 Tape

Edwards, Phyllis (1995). Basic Mathematics skills. Monterey: Even_Moor Corp.


Students will learn how to graph the data that they have collected and be able to explain the graphed data.

Students will see from the graphed data how similar and different they are from the students from Spain.


A. Introduction and Motivation

The teacher will begin class by handing out a worksheet that has to do with bar graphs. Each student will individually fill out the worksheet. When all the students are done the teacher will have the students help him/her draw the correct bar graph on the board. The teacher will explain to the students what they will be doing today in class. The teacher may need to review bar graphs if the students had trouble doing the worksheet.

B. Lesson Body

Making a Bar Graph from the Data Collected

The teacher will hand out graph paper and crayons to all the students. The students will work in-groups of 3 or 4 to draw their bar graphs. Each group will graph results of one question from the survey and the corresponding question from the pen pals survey. The students will have all of their data out on the table so that they can start. Each group should take their data and start working on their bar graphs. The groups will have to decide how to lay out their graphs. They should remember to label all sides of the graphs so that it can be easily read. The teacher should be walking around the room helping any groups who are having trouble. When the groups are done with their bar graphs they should go up and tape the graph side by side on the board under either class survey or friends in Spain survey. Each group will have different data, since they each took a different question from the survey, so that there won't be the same graph twice.

Discussing the Data

Once all the graphs are on the board the teacher will lead a class discussion. There are some questions that should be asked about the data that is graphed on the board.
 Are there any similarities with the classes survey and the class in Spains survey? If so what?
 Are there any differences with the surveys?
The teacher should have all the students actively involved in answering the question. They should be able to use number examples from the graphs. The students can even go up and put to the similarities.

B. Closure

After the class discussion about the similarities and differences the students will start to brainstorm some other ways that they may be able to show the data that they collected. The teacher will make a list on the board of ways that will be used in class tomorrow. The students will take down their two graphs and take them back to their table. The students will now write a paper telling what they learned from their graphs and how they graphed their items. After writing the paper the students will turn in their graphs with all group members' names on them and their papers that they wrote.


A. Student Assessment

The teacher will evaluate student's understanding of graphing the data by looking at their completed graphs. The teacher will look at the student's graphs and see how well they were done. They will also be evaluated by the teacher from their oral responses during the class discussion of all the graphs. The teacher will then look at the students written responses. This will be a way for the teacher to see how well he/she did teaching the course. All students will get full credit for doing the written paper.