This unit will take approximately 3-4 weeks to complete.This unit was created to give students a hands-on experience when learning and exploring data analysis. About the Unit: Problem solving in an important focal point in the mathematics curriculum. Students can learn problem-solving strategies by working and learning with their peers, as well as becoming engaged in meaningful discourse in small and large group experiences. Getting students to attempt different processes and strategies to solve problems with increase their problem solving skills. Links to research: Uslick & Barr (2001) state: “children learn best by doing activities that they enjoy” (p. 392). In this unit, students will be given several opportunities to collect, represent, and analyze data. It is important that students experience how statistics are produced, the different ways they are displayed, and what kind of information can be understood from analyzing graphs, such as single and double bar graphs. Capraro et al. (2005) affirm that “students should have many experiences in making data tables and graphs, as well as using them to describe a variety of patterns and relationships” (p. 165). Graphing is visual way of presenting information. An excellent way of explaining the use and importance of graphs is verified by Capraro et al. (2005): “The purposes for graphing lie in the conveyance of numerical data in a visual form…and in conveying to the reader the patterns and/or irregularities present in the data that may or not be evident in the table form" (p. 165). One goal for this unit is for students to understand double bar graphs, its purpose and use, as well as to determine when a double bar graph is best utilized. Capraro et al. explain that “One of the most important decisions for students to make in the construction of a graph is determining which visual method should be used to answer the question presented” (p. 165). By providing the students with multiple experiences and examples of when to use and not to use double bar graphs then they will grasp a better understanding of the model and be able to apply their learning when given a problem to represent data that compares two variables (e.g. boys versus girls). Capraro et al. describe how students will choose a graph to display specific data without knowing the rationale behind the graph or how the audience with perceive graph. “Most students constructed the graph that was most familiar to them or their favorite, with little notion of its use or interpretability for the task at hand” (p. 169).


  • Mathematics > General
  • Mathematics > Data Analysis & Probability
  • Mathematics > Graphing
  • Mathematics > Problem Solving
  • Mathematics > Statistics
  • Education > General

Education Levels:

  • Grade 3
  • Grade 4
  • Grade 5


Data Analysis projects graphing double bar graph inquiry



Access Privileges:

Public - Available to anyone

License Deed:

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
Update Standards?

MA.5.SDAP.1.2: Mathematics

Organize and display single-variable data in appropriate graphs and representations (e.g., histogram, circle graphs) and explain which types of graphs are appropriate for various data sets.

MA.5.MR.1.2: Mathematics

Determine when and how to break a problem into simpler parts.

MA.5.MR.2.2: Mathematics

Apply strategies and results from simpler problems to more complex problems.

MA.5.MR.2.3: Mathematics

Use a variety of methods, such as words, numbers, symbols, charts, graphs, tables, diagrams, and models, to explain mathematical reasoning.

MA.5.MR.2.4: Mathematics

Express the solution clearly and logically by using the appropriate mathematical notation and terms and clear language; support solutions with evidence in both verbal and symbolic work.

MA.5.MR.3.1: Mathematics

Evaluate the reasonableness of the solution in the context of the original situation.

MA.5.MR.3.2: Mathematics

Note the method of deriving the solution and demonstrate a conceptual understanding of the derivation by solving similar problems.

MA.5.MR.3.3: Mathematics

Develop generalizations of the results obtained and apply them in other circumstances.
Curriki Rating
On a scale of 0 to 3
On a scale of 0 to 3

This resource was reviewed using the Curriki Review rubric and received an overall Curriki Review System rating of 3, as of 2010-09-23.

Component Ratings:

Technical Completeness: 3
Content Accuracy: 3
Appropriate Pedagogy: 3

Reviewer Comments:

This is a thoughtful and well-constructed unit of data gathering and data analysis that should be interesting to 5th grade students. It provides opportunities for students to reflect on open questions without being driven to a single right answer. The distinction between first and second hand data is evidently confusing to students and is explored at some length.
K Patterson
September 20, 2010

K Patterson
September 20, 2010

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