Contributor: Alison Weiss. Lesson ID: 10629

Graphs can be a great way to convey data, but they can be boring too. Learn how to read and create graphs using pictures. You'll complete an online activity before completing your own pictograph.


Measurement and Data

learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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graph examples

These graphics pictured above are all different ways of organizing and presenting data. They are organized and effective, but some might say they are a little boring.

  • Can you think of a graph that might be more fun?

Imagine you and your friends are outside counting clouds in the sky. Each of you keeps track of the number of clouds you see. You want to go inside and share the number of clouds you and your friends counted with your family.

  • How can you share this information?

You can make a graph!

There are all kinds of graphs we use to display data: bar graphs, line graphs, pie charts, histograms, area graphs, scatter plots, and many more!

different graph types

In this lesson, you are going to learn about one of the more fun and interesting graphs - pictographs!

Before you display your data on a graph, you need to collect and organize the data:

  Friend's Name Number of Clouds Counted
  You 5
  Ailee 3
  Joey 1
  Mikayla 7
  Joshua 4


Now you are ready to make your pictograph!

A pictograph is unique because it uses pictures to display your data. Let's choose a picture to represent your data. Since you counted clouds, you should use pictures of clouds on your pictograph:

1 cloud

Before you can add your cloud pictures to your pictograph, you need to make the x-axis and y-axis. These labels will help you sort the data:

x- and y-axis

On the bottom, or the x-axis, will be your friends' names. On the left-hand side, or the y-axis, will be where you show how many clouds each friend counted in the sky.

Next, you will place the cloud pictures on the pictograph! Remember, each cloud picture represents one cloud counted in the sky! According to the data, you counted 5 clouds:

cloud graph

Now, you can fill in the rest of the pictograph:

cloud graph complete

Great! It's important to use graphs to show our data because it makes it easier to then interpret the data.

  • For example, looking at the pictograph, can you quickly figure out who counted the most clouds in the sky?

Yes! It is easy to see Mikayla saw the most clouds.

  • What about the least amount of clouds counted?

That's Joey!

See how graphs, and especially pictographs, make it fun to display data and interpret data!

Head over to the Got It? section to practice more with using pictographs!

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