Grade 3 Mathematics Lesson Plan: Data Handling

Grade 3 Mathematics Lesson Plan: Representing Data in Pictographs

Materials Needed:

  • Mathematics textbooks
  • Graph paper
  • Coloured markers or pencils
  • Printed pictograph examples
  • Interactive whiteboard or projector
  • Digital tablets/computers (if available)

Learning Objectives:

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:
1. Understand the concept of a pictograph.
2. Interpret data from a given pictograph.
3. Create their own pictographs using collected data.
4. Identify the key and symbols used in pictographs.


  1. Data: Information collected to be analysed.
  2. Pictograph: A chart that uses pictures to represent data.
  3. Key: Explains what each symbol or picture represents.
  4. Symbol: A picture or image used to represent data on a pictograph.
  5. Frequency: The number of times an item appears in a data set.

Previous Learning:

Students have previously learned about collecting simple data and organising it into lists and tables. They have also been introduced to basic charts and bar graphs.

Anticipated Challenges and Solutions:

  • Challenge: Students may struggle to understand the concept of a “key” in a pictograph.
    Solution: Use visuals and simple examples to explain the key before asking students to create their own.
  • Challenge: Some students may find drawing symbols time-consuming.
    Solution: Provide pre-printed sheets with symbols they can cut out and glue onto their graphs.

Beginning Activities (4 minutes):

  1. Introduction to Learning Objectives:
  2. Briefly introduce today’s objectives and explain the importance of using pictographs.
  3. Show a simple pictograph on the interactive whiteboard and discuss its components (title, symbols, key).

  4. Activate Prior Knowledge:

  5. Recap how data can be displayed using various charts. Ask questions about bar graphs and frequency tables.

Middle Activities (32 minutes):

  1. Direct Instruction (10 minutes):
  2. Explain how pictographs represent data using symbols.
  3. Discuss the importance of the key, using a few examples to show different symbols and what they represent.
  4. Demonstrate how to read a pictograph, interpreting the data from one displayed on the interactive whiteboard.

  5. Guided Practice (12 minutes):

  6. Distribute printed examples of pictographs.
  7. Work through an example with the class, asking them to help interpret the data.
  8. Pose questions such as, “How many apples were sold in total?” and “Which fruit was sold the most?”

  9. Independent Practice (10 minutes):

  10. Provide each student with a set of data (e.g., number of different coloured cars seen in the parking lot).
  11. Hand out graph paper and markers, ask students to create their own pictographs using the data provided.
  12. Walk around to offer assistance and ensure understanding.

End Activities (4 minutes):

  1. Exit Ticket Activity:
  2. Ask students to swap their pictographs with a partner.
  3. Each student should interpret their partner’s pictograph by writing down three pieces of information they can gather from it.

Assessment and Checks for Understanding:

  • Observe and listen to students during guided practice to make sure they understand how to read and interpret pictographs.
  • Review the exit tickets to assess students’ abilities to interpret data from their partner’s pictographs.
  • Collect and review the pictographs created during independent practice to check for correct use of symbols, keys, and data representation.

Differentiation Strategies for Diverse Learners:

  • Scaffolding: Provide additional visuals and simpler data sets for students who need more support. Offer one-on-one guidance.
  • Extension Activities: Challenge advanced students by asking them to create more complex pictographs with multiple keys or to interpret a more advanced data set.

Teaching Notes:

  • Ensure that the examples used in class are relevant and engaging to students.
  • Include a variety of symbol choices for pictographs to cater to students’ creative preferences.
  • Make sure all physical and digital materials are accessible to students with disabilities, such as providing larger text versions or screen reader-friendly documents for visually impaired learners.

By the end of the lesson, students should confidently understand and apply the basics of representing data in pictographs, aligning with the CAPS curriculum outcomes.

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