Make a Family Graph
Chart the way for math learning with this graphing activity.
- Grades: PreK–K
- Learn math, language, and problem-solving skills
- Develop social awareness
- Mural paper and construction paper
- Glue sticks
- Paper clips
Set Up and Prepare
Cut out small paper circles for the picture graph. Tape a long sheet of mural paper to the wall and make a graph by dividing the paper so that there is a column for each child. On the top, write the question “How many people are in your family?” Print each child's name at the top of each column. Leave space underneath to include the total number of people for each column.
Step 1: Engage children in a discussion about family members, such as grandparents, siblings, and parents. Ask each child to name the family members who live in their home, and record the information beneath their name.
Step 2: Invite children to count each child's family members and record the totals. Explain to children that they will create a graph to document the size of their families.
Step 3: During small-group time, place a pile of small paper circles on the table, along with some markers. Ask children to count the number of circles needed and to draw faces on each circle to represent family members. Then invite them to glue their circles under their name and to write their total in their column.
Step 4: Invite everyone to review the finished graph. Work with children to develop another chart to summarize the information. Encourage them to notice who has the largest and who has the smallest families. How many children have the same size family? How many children have grandparents who live with them?
Remember: Prepare for the activity in advance by learning about each child's family. You may need to modify your questions for children who do not have a certain family member-for example, substituting “person who takes care of me” for a parent.
Invite children to teach their classmates how to say hello in their home language. If the majority of children speak English, teach them a variety of greetings that are used around the world, including hola (Spanish), ciao (Italian), shalom (Hebrew), salaam (Arabic), and bonjour (French). Substitute the different greetings when singing your morning “hello song.”
Send home the following art materials: felt squares, fabric scraps, and a few other decorative materials, such as feathers, buttons, and sequins. Include a note asking families to work with their child to create a section illustrating their family for a class quilt. Work with children to assemble the quilt, and find an area of the room or hallway to display it.
A Family Like Yours by Rebecca Kai Dotlich
Fathers, Mothers, Sisters, Brothers: A Collection of Family Poems by Mary Ann Hoberman
Grandma Lai Goon Remembers: A Chinese-American Story by Ann Morris