Using the
San Mateo County Statistics information page, students will learn how to create
graphs from tables and interpret data presented in a variety of different
formats.

** **

**Grade
Levels: 4 ^{th}- 8^{th} **

** **

**Objectives**

- Students will create simple bar
graphs and circle graphs using data tables and charts.
- Students will be able to
compare and contrast data presented in various formats (tables or graphs)
and communicate their findings.
- Students will learn how to
create bar graphs and circle graphs using an electronic spreadsheet
software program.
- Students will write a paragraph
communicating their findings and understanding of the data.

**Time**: two or three class session
(approx.)

San Mateo
County Statistics Information page (included)

Graphing
paper

Protractors

Compasses

Rulers or
straight edges

Paper &
pencils

* Microsoft
Excel or similar spreadsheet program (to be used with older children)

Overhead of
San Mateo County Statistics Information pages

Student
copies of San Mateo County Statistics Information pages

**Procedure:**

** **

1.
Present overheads of San Mateo County Statistics pages. Talk about the information that is
presented and the format that it is presented in (bar graphs, percentages and
tables). Ask students what they
can tell you about the information presented. Help them to make statements based on the data and compare
and contrast information (e.g. most of the people who live in San Mateo were
born here).

2.
Instruct students to work in teams of 2 to create 5 statements
about the information that is presented on either of the SMC statistics pages.
Encourage them to make comparisons between the various data presented in a
table, chart or graph. Share out the information that the students discovered.

3.
Instruct students that they will now take some of these data and
present them in a different format. Begin with a bar graph. Show students how the 2000 Population
by Age Group is measured in thousands and that the graphÕs scale is in
increments of 2 thousand people.
Using graph paper and pencils, ask students to construct a similar bar
graph using the information presented in the County Jobs and Employment table.

4.
Instruct
students to create a circle graph (pie chart) using the County Population percentages
(use only the **native born persons** and **foreign born persons** percentages). Direct students to
use their protractors and compasses to create their circle graphs (a pre-drawn
circle for younger studentsÕ graphs is recommended). Help children to first find
out the degrees of the circle that will be needed for the two pieces of data. **Note:** Students can use ratios such as
dividing 360 by 100 to figure out how many degrees a percentage point equates
to and then multiplying that number (3.6) by the actual data percentage (74.6%
and 25.4%). Students can also create an
algebraic equation such as *x*=n(360/100), where **n** is either 74.6% (native born persons) or
25.4%(foreign born persons) and X is the degrees of the circle allocated for
that data percentage.

5.
Using
a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel, direct students to create simple
spreadsheets from the San Mateo County Statistics data. Create a computer-generated circle
graph of the County Population data (used in the previous lesson). How does it compare to the
student-generated graphs? To create additional circle graphs, use the **Education
of Persons 18+** data
or the **1990 percent Population by Race **data.
The **County Transportation** data might also be interesting to put into a circle graph,
especially given the way that this data is presented. Ask why the bar graph looks so different and what decision
was made to represent this data. Bar graphs can be made out of the table data. Allow students to play around with
various ways to represent the data once they understand how to create computer
generated graphs.

6. Direct students to write at least a
paragraph analyzing the data with which they worked. They may want to raise
additional questions based on what they discovered.

__Statistics,
Data Analysis, and Probability__

**Grade
4:** Students
organize, represent, and interpret numerical and categorical data and clearly
communicate their findings.

**Grade
5: **Students
display, analyze, compare, and interpret different data sets, including data
sets of different sizes.

**G****rade 6: **Students compute and analyze
statistical measurements for data sets.

**Grade
7:** Students
collect, organize, and represent data sets that have one or more variables and
identify relationships among variables within a data set by hand and through
the use of an electronic spreadsheet software program.

__Measurement
and Geometry__

**Grade
4:** Students
demonstrate an understanding of plane and solid geometric objects and use this
knowledge to show relationships and solve problems.

**Grade
5: **Students
identify, describe, and classify the properties of, and the relationships between,
plane and solid geometric figures.

**G****rade 6: **Students identify and describe the
properties of two-dimensional figures.