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Picture Graphs - Interpret Pictographs

Given picture graphs showing two or three children’s names along the horizontal axis and pictures of same objects (e.g., balloons, books) stacked above the names, students study the graphs, decide who has more, less, the most, the least, or the same numbers of objects, and then count to tell the number of objects for each child.

All questioning begins with “Tell me what you see,” followed by comparison questions (“More?”, “Less?”, “Most?”, “Least?”, “Same number?”) and identification of the colors of the objects, and then by questions about the numbers of objects.

When counting, urge students to start at the top of a column of objects, and point to each object as it is counted.

On the “Teacher” pages, questions to ask are shown below each graph along with answers. Graphs for the students to use appear on separate pages. Give each child a copy of each graph.

Picture Graph 1

  1. What do you see? (Red balloons and yellow balloons.)
  2. Point to the stack of red balloons. These balloons belong to Bob.
  3. Point to the stack of yellow balloons. These balloons belong to Ann.
  4. Who has more balloons? (Bob) What color are Bob’s balloons? (Red)
  5. How many red balloons does Bob have? (3)
  6. Who has less balloons? (Ann) What color are Ann’s balloons? (Yellow)
  7. How many yellow balloons does Ann have? (1)

Picture Graph 2

  1. What do you see? (Two stacks of paint brushes. One stack has green paint brushes. The other stack has black paint brushes)
  2. Point to the stack of green paint brushes. These green paint brushes belong to Tom.
  3. Point to the stack of black paint brushes. These black paint brushes belong to Brad.
  4. Who has more paint brushes? (Brad) What color are Brad’s paint brushes? (Black)
  5. How many black paint brushes does Brad have? (4)
  6. Who has less paint brushes? (Tom) What color Tom’s paint brushes? (Green)
  7. How many green paint brushes does Tom have? (1)

Picture Graph 3

  1. What do you see? (Two stacks of yoyos. One stack has red yoyos. The other stack has blue yoyos.)
  2. Point to the stack of red yoyos. These red yoyos belong to Rich.
  3. Point to the stack of blue yoyos. These blue yoyos belong to Nan.
  4. How many red yoyos belong to Rich? (4)
  5. How many blue yoyos belong to Nan? (4)
  6. Rich and Nan have the same number of yoyos. How can you tell by looking at the stacks? (They are the same height.)

Picture Graph 4

  1. What do you see? (Three stacks of crayons. One stack has purple crayons. One stack has red crayons. One stack has brown crayons.)
  2. Point to the stack that has the most crayons. These are Al’s crayons. What color are Al’s crayons? (Red)
  3. How many red crayons does Al have? (5)
  4. Point to the stack that has the least crayons. These are Larry’s crayons. What color are Larry’s crayons? (Brown)
  5. How many brown crayons does Larry have? (1)
  6. The purple crayons belong to Sue. How many purple crayons does Sue have? (3)

Picture Graph 5

  1. What do you see? (Three stacks of beach balls. One stack has pink beach balls. One stack has blue beach balls. One stack has yellow beach balls. Some students might point out that two stacks have the same number of beach balls.)
  2. Point to the stack that has the most beach balls. These are Nina’s beach balls. What color are Nina’s beach balls? (Yellow)
  3. How many yellow beach balls does Nina have? (5)
  4. Ron and Sonia have the same number of beach balls. Sonia’s beach balls are blue. How many blue beach balls does Sonia have?
  5. How many pink beach balls does Ron have?
  6. How can you tell without counting that Ron and Sonia have the same number of beach balls? (The stacks are the same height.)

Picture Graph 6

  1. What do you see? (Three names. Only two stacks of puzzle boxes.)
  2. Point to the stack that has the most puzzle boxes. These are Sandy’s puzzles.
  3. How many puzzles does Sandy have? (4)
  4. Point to the stack that has the least puzzles. These are Eric’s puzzles.
  5. How many puzzles does Eric have? (0)
  6. The other stack of puzzles belongs to Greg. How many puzzles does Greg have? (2)

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