Sunday, June 7, 2015

Graphing with Stickies

This is a great and super easy way to introduce bar graphs and dot plots!  For these graphs, I got the dot stickers and little 2 by 2 sticky notes from Target.  :)  That's all you need!

Bar Graph

Materials needed:
*  White board
*  White board marker
*  Small 2 by 2 sticky notes

First thing you want to do is determine a topic.  I chose "Favorite Summer Activity".  Get the kids to help create some categories and write those down.  Then, take a vote to determine how far your graph needs to extend.  Talk to them about why you do this.

Start drawing (and labeling) your graph!  Drawing it with your kids helps them to learn the parts of each graph and helps them to understand how they are generated.  Also, talking about the process as you're going provides a great learning experience.

I drew my scale using the sticky notes (shown above) since that is what the kids were using.  When you are finished, have each student come up and place a sticky note on their favorite activity.  Make sure you mention that their sticky note must line up with the scale.  Some kids will stick them partially on top of another which makes the data appear incorrect.

Voila!  I did different colors for the cute factor, but using the same colors might make the graph easier to read.

Dot Plot

Materials needed:
* White board
* Expo marker
* Circle sticky dots

Just like the bar graph, you want to create your dot plot with the kids.  Show them how to create the scale.  I used index cards to separate the numbers, but you could be good and use a ruler!  It really doesn't matter as long as the spaces are even.  :)

I drew my dot plot on the white board and put the stickers on there, but if you don't feel comfortable putting sticky dots on your white board, you can always laminate a piece of poster board and tape it to the white board.  The dots are not hard to remove; however, I would remove them before the end of the day just in case.

Now you want to determine the topic.  I chose "Number of Siblings" for mine.  Take a vote to determine where your numbers (# of siblings) will begin and end.  On this one, most likely, your smallest number will be 0 for kids who have no siblings.  But for the largest, it might be 2 or it might be 18 (if you have a Duggar kid in your class), so you don't want to assume and write down any random number as your last one.

I wrote number of siblings as the title, but you can also write it underneath the numbers to show what those numbers mean.  I really don't think it matters as long as your kids know what those numbers represent.

Draw your scale (I used an index card)

Then, give each of your students a dot sticker and have them come to the board to place their sticker in the right spot.

**It is important to show them what happens if you don't align the stickers up correctly.  You can do this beforehand if you want to avoid calling anyone out (unless they do it AFTER you tell them!)

That's it!

You can download these two worksheets so the kids can draw their graphs with you!  And if you feel like being extra fun, you can give the kids these teeny tiny dot sticks so they can use them on their plots!  I bought the 1/4 inch Avery Color Coding Labels for this activity.   Here's a pic!


  1. Great post on one of my favorite topics: graphing! Aren't there so many uses for sticky notes and dot stickers? We use them all the time, along with those reinforcement label stickers!

  2. Thanks Meredith! They are good for lots of things! :)