Tally Charts and Bar Graphs Movie Background Information for Teachers and Parents

Grade Levels: K-3

This page contains information to support educators and families in teaching K-3 students about tally charts, bar graphs, and data analysis skills. The information is designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. movie Tally Charts and Bar Graphs. It explains the type of content covered in the movie, provides ideas for how teachers and parents can develop related understandings, and suggests how other BrainPOP Jr. resources can be used to scaffold and extend student learning.

In this movie, children will learn how to collect data by taking a survey and using a tally chart to record and organize information. Then they will use the data to create a bar graph and share their results. You may want to review the Pictographs movie before exploring this topic.

Remind children that graphs are useful tools for organizing and showing information. People can collect data, or information, by taking surveys. Tally charts and bar graphs can help people visualize data, answer questions, and make predictions. Once children have learned about bar graphs, they will realize that they see them everywhere!

During a survey, people ask others questions to collect information, or data. You may want to explain how the U.S. Census Bureau is a department that collects information about the entire population of the United States. This information is gathered every ten years and is used to determine the number of seats each state is allotted in the House of Representatives, how much federal funding is spent on the area’s infrastructure and on local services like hospitals, schools, and emergency services. The U.S. Census collects data about the kinds of homes people live in, how they get to work, where they go to school, where they work, etc. Census workers take surveys of people and record information, which is then used to create bar graphs, pie charts, and other charts that help illustrate the data’s results. Businesses, organizations, and departments of the government use this information to make predictions about markets and to figure out how to reach certain sub-populations or groups. How might surveys be useful in other ways? Discuss with children.

Review that tally charts help people count. Each tally mark in a tally chart represents one object. For example, to count three apples, you make three tally marks in the chart. Tally marks are grouped in sets of five, which facilitates counting. Instead of counting marks one-by-one, you can skip-count by fives and add on any remaining marks. Practice counting objects in your class or home by using tally marks, so students become familiar with what the groups of five look like, and how to count extra marks. Then practice skip-counting by fives in order to get children familiar with multiples of five.

Children should know how to create a bar graph from a tally chart. A bar graph uses bars to represent and display data. The bottom of the graph (the x-axis) can list categories in a given data set and the side of the graph (the y-axis) can list numbers. Children should be able to draw a bar up from a category to a specific number in order to represent the number of objects in that category. Remind children to give graphs titles and label each axis. You can use the same data to make a bar graph with the numbers on the x-axis and the categories on the y-axis. Explain that though the graph looks different, the data is still the same. It is just another way to look at the information.

Bar graphs allow people to analyze data and compare information. Discuss where children have seen or used bar graphs before. Display different bar graphs for children and help them draw conclusions from the data. We recommend watching the Science Projects movie together for further review on how to use tally charts and bar graphs to share results.