Voting for First Grade Favorites

Developed by:
Eric Curts (
Pattie Knox (
Darlene Mishler (


This lesson teaches students about voting, making bar graphs and pictographs, drawing conclusions from graphs, and using technology to help in the process.

Grade Level(s):   Grade 1    

Subject Area(s):   Mathematics     Social Studies     Technology    

Duration: One hour for the initial lesson, followed by 10 minutes of questions in small group meetings.

Curriculum Standards


Data Analysis and Probability Standard
1. Identify multiple categories for sorting data.
3. Display data in picture graphs with units of 1 and bar graphs with intervals of 1.
4. Read and interpret charts, picture graphs and bar graphs as sources of information to identify main ideas, draw conclusions, and make predictions.
5. Construct a question that can be answered by using information from a graph.
7. Answer questions about the number of objects represented in a picture graph, bar graph or table graph; e.g., category with most, how many more in a category compared to another, how many altogether in two categories.


Geography Standard
6. Compare areas within the local community to identify similarities.

Government Standard
2. Explain how voting can be used to make group decisions.

Citizenship Rights and Responsibilities Standard
1. Demonstrate the importance of fair play, good sportsmanship, respect for the rights and opinions of others and the idea of treating others the way you want to be treated.

Social Studies Skills and Methods Standard
3. Determine categories for sorting information.
6. Display courtesy and respect for others in group settings including
a. staying on the topic
b. focusing attention on the speaker


Standard 3 Technology for Productivity Applications
Benchmark B: Demonstrate operation of basic computer and multimedia technology tools.
5. Use input (keyboard, mouse) and output (printer) devices to operate computer and multimedia technology tools with teacher assistance.
6. Use software programs designed to develop problem-solving skills.

Benchmark C: Use productivity tools to produce creative works.
2. Use technology resources with teacher assistance (e.g., preselected Web sites, launching applications, educational software).

Detailed Plan

Step 1 - Introduction to voting

Introduce the concept of voting to the students. Relate it to the voting that goes on in November. Ask and explain why we vote - so that a group of people can make a decision. Talk about fairness and the importance of everyone having a part in decisions.

Step 2 - Whole class voting example

Explain that the class will now vote to make a decision. As an entire class go through the whole voting process (without technology the first time). Use the voting question "What is your favorite zoo animal?"

- Ahead of time, print out and assemble the big voting grid, by printing one copy of "Post-it Note Grid Base" and four copies of "Post-it Note Grid Blank" (both in the "Files" section below).
- Ahead of time, tape the grids together to make a large grid with 14 rows and 5 columns. (Alternately you can just make your own big grid on large poster paper.)
- Have students suggest possible zoo animals that could be voted for.
- Then tell them the five they will be voting for today (show beanie baby versions of the zoo animals if available).
- Now give each student a Post-it note.
- Have students come up one at a time to place their Post-it note on the grid to vote. This will make a bar graph.
- Ask them what kind of graph this is.
- Explain to students that this is called a bar graph and that it represents their votes.
- Ask students to suggests questions we could answer with this graph.
- Ask students questions about the graph, such as those on the worksheet "Questions about the Graph" (in the "Files" section below).

Step 3 - Convert survey to Graph Club

Now tell the students that a computer can be used to do the same graph.

- Explain that people use computers to vote now, such as the new Diebold voting machines their parents may be using.
- Start up Graph Club and open the file "Favorite Zoo Animal" (in the Files section below).(See "Using the Premade Graphs Quick Guide"in the Files section below for instructions if needed).
- Show how the student votes can be entered in Graph Club to create the same chart.

Step 4 - Have class pick new survey question

Tell class that they will now get to vote using Graph Club.

- Either you can select a new survey question for them, or...
- Have them vote by raising hands to pick a new survey question. If you do this method, have the students put their heads down and raise their hands to vote so they will not be influenced by others. Write down their votes as tally marks.
- Feel free to use any or all of the survey questions listed in the "Possible Survey Questions" handout (in the "Files" section below).

Step 5 - Set up survey in Graph Club

Set up a voting station at one computer in the classroom.

- Use the premade Graph Club files in the Files section below
- Or feel free to set up your own (You can refer to the Graph Club video tutorials or the "Creating a Graph in Explore Mode Quick Guide" in the "Files" section for info on how to set up your own survey).

Step 6 - Students vote

- Have students come back to the computer one at a time to vote.
- Feel free to give them an "I Voted Today" sticker if you have any, or use the "Vote Buttons" handout to make them (in the "Files" section below).
- While students are voting, you can have the students at their seats color the "Voting Coloring Page" (in the "Files" section below).

Step 7 - Save data

Save the Graph Club data for the survey question and print out the pictograph and bargraph for it. (Just click "File" then "Print Graphs" then "Print" then "OK".) For additonal explanation of the options available under the "Print Graphs" menu see "Printing Your Graphs Quick Guide" (in the "Files" section below.)

Step 8 - Analyze data

Later on, meet with students in small groups to go over the graphs using questions from the "Questions about the Graph" handout (in the "Files" section below). Have the group look at the graph of the data while you ask them the questions and/or have them suggest questions that can be answered by the graph. Be sure to get each group member to participate in answering the questions. Feel free to ask more and deeper quesitions while you assess the students learning. This would be a good time to use the "Standards Checklist" (in the "Files" section below) to record student progress.

Step 9 - Evaluate lesson

When the lesson is complete, please fill out the lesson evaluation (in the "Files" section below) and return it to the tech team. This will help us know the value of this lesson and how we can improve it for the future.


Step 2 Files

Step 3 Files Step 4 Files Step 5 Files Step 6 Files Step 7 Files Step 8 Files Step 9 Files


Extra Instruction

Graph Club Video Tutorials Graph Club alternatives


A standards checklist can be found in the "Files" sections to be used to check off each standard as they are met by the students.

Needed Resources

Enrichment and Extension

Display your graphs on the Internet for the everyone to see:
- Copy and paste your graph into a program like "Microsoft Photo Editor" (see the video tutorial "Copying graphs into other programs" in the "Files" section above).
- Save the graph as a GIF or JPEG image.
- Upload the image to your web site (such as using the "Pictures Page" through POW-PAK).

Compare your graphs to other first grades across the district.
- If several first grade classes upload their graphs to their web sites, then you can have your class examine the results from other classes and other schools.
- Use this as a chance to learn about similarities and differences across the community.