Using Birthdays in Maths – A Lesson Plan on Tallies, Graphs and Calendars


Summary of Lesson Plan:

In this lesson, students learn how to create tables, tallies and picture graphs while also getting to know their classmate in a little more depth. Using blank calendars, they also learn how a calendar works, as well as fill out any important dates that may be coming up. A fun activity for all students as it can be mixed abilities.

Australian Curriculum Links:

  • Year 3 – Identify questions or issues for categorical variables. Identify data sources and plan methods ofdata collection and recording (ACMSP068)
  • Year 3 – Collect data, organise into categories and create displays using lists, tables, picture graphs and simple column graphs, with and without the use of digital technologies (ACMSP069)
  • Year 3 – Interpret and compare data displays (ACMSP070)

Lesson Plan Sequence:

  • Model how to complete a tally chart using a range of questions. Eg. Favourite colours, food, sports. etc.
  • Allow children to collect data from each other about which month their birthdays are in.
  • Check children’s understanding of the data and if they are able to interpret a tally chart by asking them questions about the information collected; eg. which month has the most birthdays?
  • Use one of the previous tally chart examples, to model how to take data from a tally chart and present it in a picture graph.
  • Allow children to complete their own picture graphs using their birthday tally data.
  • Practise reading and interpreting a calendar, by ordering months, days of the week, and filling in missing days of the month. (Great for also practising how many days are in each month.)
  • In mixed ability pairs, allocate children a month of the calendar each, which they can then input the birthdays of their classmates on it. They may also wish to include any significant holidays, class events or trips. This makes a great permanent, classroom display of class birthdays. For those kids who end up having the month with nothing in it, get them to go online to find events in Australia for that month.


  • Discuss their work on the floor and use this opportunity to work out any misconceptions about calendars, tallies and graphs.


  • Workbook samples of creating tallies and graphs.
  • Anecdotal evidence of discussions (questioning, reading a calendar, etc)




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