Match ups

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In this unit we make statements about data displays, decide if statements made by others match the data shown, and match appropriate statements to a data display. 

Achievement Objectives
S1-1: Conduct investigations using the statistical enquiry cycle: posing and answering questions; gathering, sorting and counting, and displaying category data; discussing the results.
S1-2: Interpret statements made by others from statistical investigations and probability activities.
Specific Learning Outcomes
  • Make a statement about a data display.
  • Decide if statement about a data display is true or false.
  • Match a statement to the appropriate graph.
Description of Mathematics

In this unit, students make statements to describe information shown on a data display. At Level 1, students should comment on the highest and lowest result shown on the graph, make comments on individual category results, and draw comparisons between two categories. Students will also evaluate statements about a graph to decide whether the statement is true or false. This involves interpreting the data and the statement. Given two similar data displays, students will match statements to the appropriate display. Data displays included in this unit are pictographs and bar graphs. 

There is scope within this unit for teachers to explore statistical investigations by providing students with opportunities to collect data and prepare their own data displays.

Opportunities for Adaptation and Differentiation

The learning opportunities in this unit can be differentiated by providing or removing support to students and by varying the task requirements. Ways to support students include:

  • providing additional examples of model statements
  • allowing less confident students to restate, in their own words, statements made by others, rather than having them identify new statements to be made
    strategically organising students into pairs and small groups in order to encourage peer learning, scaffolding, and extension
  • working alongside individual students (or groups of students) who require further support with specific area of knowledge or activities.
  • restricting or extending the range of options for each display, for example, only including three colours.

The context for this unit can be adapted to suit the interests and experiences of your students. For example, favourite sports or favourite waiata might be engaging data contexts for your students to explore.

Te reo Māori kupu such as kohikohi raraunga (data collection), raraunga (data), and kauwhata pou (bar graph) could be introduced in this unit and used throughout other mathematical learning.


Getting Started

  1. Cut out a uniform set of small squares of paper (or use memo pad squares). Give the students a square of paper each and a selection of five coloured crayons. Ask them to colour the square in their favourite colour.  
  2. Work with the students to construct a uniform pictograph graph using the squares of paper. This could be based around any colour-centred focus (e.g. favourite colours, new colours for school shirts, colour of jelly to be made for a class party). Try to select a context to frame this data in that is meaningful, engaging, and relevant to the learning, interests, and/or cultures of your students.
  3. Ask the students to make a statement about the graph. Model a statement, for example “five people chose red as their favourite colour”.
  4. Prompt the students to make statements, by asking analysis questions such as:  What colour is the most popular? 
    What colour is the least popular?
    How many people like “X” colour?
    Do more people like green or blue?
  5. Write the students' statements beside the display. This might be on pieces of paper that are attached to the wall or similar.
  6. After each statement is recorded, ask the rest of the students to think about if they agree or disagree with it and why. Choose one agree and one disagree to report back and discuss. For example, "I agree that blue is the most popular colour because blue has the most squares".
  7. Collect information from students about the types of pets they have at home (or another relevant category - e.g. how do you get to school, what languages do you speak at home, what game should we play in fitness this afternoon). Show the students the information as a bar graph. Or use the graph in Copymaster 1.
  8. Ask the students what they can tell you about the graph. Model a statement, for example “More people have fish than guinea pigs as pets”.
  9. Prompt the students to make statements, by asking analysis questions such as:What pet is the most popular?
    What pet is the least popular? 
    How many people have a “x”?
    What is more popular fish or cats or fish?
  10. Display students’ statements alongside the graph and discuss as previously, encouraging students to explain why they agree os disagree with each statement. This could be discuss in pairs, before having students share back to the class. You might also provide the a visual of the sentences shown above, and some relevant sentences starters, to support students in their discussions.


Over the next few sessions students will explore making statements about data displays, deciding if statements are true and matching statements with data displays.

  1. Use the graph in Copymaster 2, or collect some data from the students and display it as a bar graph. Possible ideas include: birthday months, favourite games, favourite foods. Try to select a data that reflects a context that is meaningful, engaging, and relevant to the learning, interests, and/or cultures of your students.
  2. Organise students into graphs and provide each group with a graph. Ask each group to come up with three or more statements about the graph. Use the prompts such as: what is the most popular, least popular, compare two parts of the graph, how many people like an activity.
  3. Each group then reports back to the class group with the statements it made about the graph.
  4. Show the students the graph in Copymaster 3.
    Read students the statements below and ask them to vote if each statement is True or False. Discuss why or why not.
    • More people like bananas than plums.
    • Apples are the most popular.
    • 6 people chose bananas as their favourite
    • 2 more people chose oranges than chose peaches.
    • Apples and oranges are the favourite fruit.
    • Plums are more popular than peaches.
  5. Give each student the graphs and statements in Copymaster 4.
    Read the statements to the students. Ask them to cut out the statements and glue them under the graph that best shows the statement.


In the final session provide each group of students with a different graph from Copymaster 5.

  1. Ask each group to make three true statements about the graph. 
  2. Ask groups to report back to the class on the statements they made. 
  3. As a class, discuss whether each statement is correct, and why or why not.
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Level One