Ice-Cream Maths Lesson – Collecting and Displaying Data


Summary of lesson plan:

Students have been hired as the new ice-cream inventor at Miss Knights School Creamery. As the new inventor, they are responsible for inventing a new ice-cream flavour that has never been thought of before. They will survey a group of students to find out which ice-cream flavour is to be invented.

This lesson steps students through the data collection and recording process.

Australian Curriculum Links:

  • Year 4: Select and trial methods for data collection, including survey questions and recording sheets (ACMSP095)
  • Year 4: Construct suitable data displays, with and without the use of digital technologies, from given or collected data. Include tables, column graphs and picture graphs where one picture can represent many data values (ACMSP096)

Lesson Plan Sequence:

  • Hand each student a cone (cone template). They can colour it in and can share their experiences about ice-cream, favourite flavours etc… Play Mr Whippy music.
  • Explain the task to students. Have the job advertisement displayed on a smartboard/computer.
  • Students have now been hired as the new ice-cream inventor.

Task 1: They will be required to think of 8 new and exciting ice-cream flavours that they will invent. Upon completion they will form a hypothesis about which ice-cream flavour they think will be the most popular. They will need to justify their decision and explain why they think it will be the most popular.

Task 2: Students will create a survey in which they will use to ask a group of students or another class within the school. Attached is an example of the survey sheet we used. You can also discuss the type of data you wish to collect. We thought collecting extra data about gender might be interesting to see the flavours preferred by the boys and girls.
Task 3: Students to use their survey sheets to collect the data. Decide on how many people will be asked. Upon completion they will use a tally graph to organise their data. The tally template we used has also been provided.
Task 4: After a tally has been created, they will put the data into excel and will create a column graph showing the number of students who preferred each flavour. Attached is the (excel ice-cream data). This shows an example of how students collated their data onto excel.
Task 5: Students will analyse their data and will come to a conclusion about which ice-cream flavour will be invented. They will then need to create a sales pitch and will explain to their ice-cream boss(Teacher) which flavour will be invented and they will use their findings to support their decisions.


  • Work samples will be used to assess if students could create appropriate recording sheets that allowed them to gain an accurate sample of data.
  • Work samples will also be used to assess if students could collate their data to create accurate displays as well as seeing if they can apply reasoning and evidence to support their decisions.




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