Mathematics and Data: A Unit For Years 1 and 2


Summary of Unit of Work:

This unit is part of a PowerPoint presentation suggesting activities you could use to introduce or reinforce the concept of ‘data representation and interpretation’ for students working in Levels One and Two of the Australian Curriculum. It involves understanding the vocabulary needed to represent and interpret data as well as creating pictographs with students, bar graphs and using tally marks as a form of data collection.

Each activity can be adapted for students in lower or higher year levels.

Australian Curriculum Links:

Mathematics (Statistics and Probability): Data Representation and Interpretation

Level One

  • Choose simple questions and gather responses and make simple inferences (ACMSP262 – Scootle )
  • Represent data with objects and drawings where one object or drawing represents one data value. Describe the displays (ACMSP263 – Scootle )

Level Two

Unit Overview:

Lesson Progression

Please use the attached PowerPoint as a basis for the lessons on ‘data representation and interpretation’.

  • Slide One – Title
  • Slide Two – Australian Curriculum
  • Slide Three – Learning Progression
  • Slide Four – Tuning In – Think, Pair, Share, Square.

Using the thinking tool ‘think, pair, share, square’ show students the image on slide 4.  Ask them to think about what the image is telling them. If students struggle prompt them with questions such as:

    • Where would you see an image like this?
    • Who would use an image like this?
    • What is this image called?

Once they have had a chance to think independently they find a partner to share their thinking. Once they have both had a chance to think as them to share their thoughts with another partner.

  • Slide Five – Record their thinking

In the groups of 4 from the previous slide, ask one person to be spokesperson to share what their group discussed about the image. Record on the slide their thinking as a form of whole group pre-assessment. Ensure to write down the language they use as activities may need to be extended or enabled for some students depending on their prior knowledge.

  • Slide Six – Definition of data

From their sharing highlight some words they may already have used such as graph, data, results or information.

Add new vocabulary to your Word Wall or ensure vocabulary is displayed for students to refer to during the lessons.

As a class write a definition of data using the slide as a prompt.

  • Slide Seven – Missing information

Using the graph from slide 4 ask students the following questions:

    • What could this graph be about?
    • What information is missing which would help us?
    • What can you tell about this graph, for example pink has the lowest amount?

This activity can be completed independently with a copy of the graph from the slide or in small groups.

  • Slide Eight – Data Collection – pictograph

Students line up behind a sign which states their birth month. Take a photo of this, ensure you can clearly see the number of students and the month of the year.  Print this out or display on a Smart TV.  Discuss the results with the students using the word ‘interpret’.

What can we interpret from the data we collected about birth months?

  • Slide Nine – Data Collection – bar graph

How can we represent the data we collected about birth months differently?

Represent the data you have collected on students’ birth months. Ensure you are using the term data when speaking. An example is on Slide 9. You may like to make a pictograph using small outlines of students (free download here – ) before completing a bar graph.

Discuss the data collected and what information they have gained (interpreted) from the data.

  • Slide 10 – Vocabulary

Check in with students on their knowledge of the terms used in data representation and interpretation. There are hyperlinks which have definitions in student friendly language once they have shared their thoughts and you would like to clarify their definitions.

  • Slide 11 – Tally Marks

Start the session by counting by fives. If you have a display with the fives counting pattern refer to this in the room or allow students to use the fives counting pattern.

Ask students the following questions:

    • What are tally marks?
    • Why are they useful?
    • How do tally marks make understanding information easier?

Ask two students to count to 50, ask one student to count by ones and another student to count by fives.

    • Which way was quicker?
    • Why is it quicker?
  • Slide 12 – Interpreting Tally Marks

What information can be interpreted by the data on slide 12?

  • Slide 13 Using Tally Marks

Ask students to either create their own question, remind them not to have too many different options for answers, or use one of the questions on slide 13. Use tally marks to collect the data.

You may have students sit in a circle with half asking questions and half providing answers or use a photocopied sheet with all students names to ensure each student is asked each question.

  • Slide 14 Interpreting and Sharing Data

Once students have collected the data using tally marks, ask them to interpret and share the results with the class. They may do this verbally to begin with. This data can then be represented as a graph.

Slide 15 Post Assessment

Using the same slide from the pre-assessment pose the same questions to find out any new vocabulary students know and any new information they can gain from the graph.

Show them their pre-assessment results slide and compare their knowledge.

Assessment Ideas:

  • Pre and post assessment are included in the PowerPoint.


Download all of the unit-related resources below:

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