Books vs Bean Bags? Part ii


The purpose of this activity is to engage students in sorting and displaying statistical data in a meaningful way.

Description of Mathematics

The background knowledge and skills that should be established before and/or during this activity are outlined in the diagram below:

Click to show example questions for each heading

This activity may be carried out with step by step guidance, or by allowing the student to follow their own method of solution. The approach should be chosen in sympathy with students' skills and depth of understanding.


A class investigating the question ‘What is the school library being used for?’ came up with the following questionnaire. The responses, are noted beside each question. Display the data in such a way that it will help the class to answer their question.

Room 6B Library Survey
Our Investigation: 
What are school libraries used for?

1 What is the main thing you do in library time? Y5/6: Teachers:
  a Choosing a book for issue 8 3
  b Browsing the shelves 4 2
  c Reading/sitting in the reading zone 11 1
  d Using the internet 5 4
  e Not sure 2 0
2 How do you get your reading material?    
  a Mostly purchase 6 5
  b Mostly borrow 17 2
  c Half & half purchase and borrow 7 3
3 How do you prefer to sit when you are at the library?    
  a At a table 5 6
  b On a comfy chair 12 3
  c On bean bags, cushions or floor 13 0
  d I rarely sit down in the library 0 1

The procedural approach  (show more)

  • The student is able to sort and display data accurately.

The conceptual approach  (show more)

  • The student is able to sort and display data, highlighting features of the data that answer the question posed.
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Level Three