If you’re a teacher, you know perhaps more than anyone that everyone learns differently. Some students are more analytical, while others are more visually inclined, and the rest fall somewhere in between. It is important to offer your students a variety of tools with which to synthesize, analyze and interpret information. Even at an early age, charts can be used to effectively nurture these skills. They can understand comparisons, patterns, and trends about easy to grasp information like how many apples and bananas there are, or how many boys or girls are in the classroom. You can have kindergarten students, for example, ask their friends if they have read their favorite book. Have them tally their responses, add them up, and make a simple chart like the one below. Encourage them to use colors and images to accentuate certain aspects of the data. In our example above, the comparison is made between boys and girls so color is used to distinguish each friend category. It may be a small detail but allows students to understand that one group is distinguished from another by some defining characteristic. A cookie is used here to represent each friend who has read the beloved If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Ask your young students a series of follow up questions based off of their chart that will exercise their ability to take pause when reviewing their counts, and to make simple conclusions.
- How many of your friends did you ask in total?
- Did boys or girls read the book more?
As you can see, charts are valuable tools in the classroom. Check back with us soon to learn other ways for your students to gather and display information.