Library Digital Content Access

Using a Computer

Created By: Marilyn Cimino, Dr.Howard Elementary School (Champaign, IL)
Grade Level: 4th
Content Area: Mathematics/Graphing
Database Integration: For this project students will use the TDC database to access information about various types of pottery used around the world.

Using a Computer to Make a Graph

Computers and electronic tools play an important and increasingly vital role in schools as well as in our society. As a shaper of the future, it is my job to introduce my students to the technology that I have available for them in the classroom today.

The following lesson plan was designed to integrate and incorporate technology with math and problem solving. One of the most frustrating problems I have as a 4th grade teacher is getting my students past the primary learning environment and into an intermediate level learning environment. Reading and following directions seem almost foreign to my 4th graders when they enter my classroom in the fall. "What do I do?" bounces from wall to wall for the first quarter of the school year.

This lesson plan then incorporates not only technology and math, but also requires the student to read and follow directions to be successful in completing the assignment. This instructional model meets the technical as well as academic needs of all 4th graders.




Allow 15 to 20 minutes for introduction, review of assignment directions and to answer any questions. Each child will have 30 minutes at its assigned computer time to work on this assignment. Students will have up to 4 computer times to complete this assignment. This graph will be teacher evaluated, then student assessed and corrected.




While facilitating the activities, the teacher should notice the following and make notes to help evaluate student progress.

Sample Worksheet:

Name _____________________________ Technology Master

Using a Computer to Make a Graph

For a survey, the fourth graders at Dr. Howard School were asked to choose their favorite animal from these choices: Bird, Cat, Dog, and Fish. The survey showed that 23 students chose "Bird", 40 students chose "Cat", 46 students chose "Dog", and 17 students chose "Fish".

Choose NEW from the FILE menu. Select Spreadsheet and click O.K.

  1. Label the columns "Animals" and Votes."
  2. Type the animals' names in the first column.
  3. Type the number of votes in the second column. Highlight all of the cells in the table. Choose Make Chart from the OPTIONS menu. Choose type of graph, and then click O.K.
  4. Double-click on the graph. Choose a different graph, and then click O.K. Repeat this procedure for other types of graphs.
  5. Explain your choice of graph.
Use your table and graph to answer these questions.
  1. How many students were surveyed to choose their favorite animal? _____
  2. How many more students would need to vote for "cat" as their favorite in order for the number of votes for dogs and cats to be the same? _____


Suppose "turtle" was added to the choices of favorite animals. If 6 students vote for "turtle" as their favorite animal, how would you include this new information in your graph?