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Handling data - pictograms

This activity addresses several National Curriculum (England and Wales) requirements at Key Stage 2 and covers the following Learning Objectives defined by the National Numeracy Strategy Guidelines for England: 

Year 3 Spring, Unit 13, Handling Data. 

Learning Objectives 91 and 93 

Solve a given problem by organising and interpreting numerical data in simple lists, tables and graphs, for example . . . pictograms symbol representing two units. 

Teachers in Scotland will find the activity supports Mathematics 5-14 Information Handling, levels C - D
Strands: Collecting Information
Organising Information
Displaying Information
Interpreting information 

The activity requires pupils to interpret information presented in the form of a pictogram and to express new data in the same form. 

The data has been drawn from the RSPB/BTO report 'The State of the UKs Birds 1999', which illustrates that the populations of many of the UKs most common song birds have declined rapidly during the last 30 years. The rate of decline of individual species indicated in the Student Activity Sheet has been rounded up or down for the purposes of this exercise but the trends are accurate.   

If pupils show particular interest in this activity they might like to take part in Wildsquare, the childrens wildlife survey being run by the junior section of the RSPB. 

Resources:   Student Data Sheet 

Age Range: Key Stage 2, year 3. 

The Activity 

Using the pictogram on the Student Activity Sheet, pupils are asked to answer a series of questions about the comparative frequency with which different species of birds visited a bird table. From statistics provided, pupils then need to draw a new pictogram illustrating the number of birds that might visit after a period of population decline. 

This activity could be extended to include the collection of data; pupils should record the number and species of birds visiting a bird table or similar defined area over a period of time and then prepare their own pictograms. Consider dividing the class into small groups to record visits in 10-minute periods, to avoid boredom. The provision of an appropriate wild bird food will ensure plenty of visitors.