Data sources do not have to be fancy or or complex in order to stimulate students in their learning. Simple sources such as favourite colours or ice cream flavours can be used in collecting, exploring, representing and and interpreting data.

Resource: Favourite Colours!
I thought I’d share a simple data activity I recently did on my final practicum in my Year 3 class. All that was used was coloured paper, some Blu-Tack and a whiteboard – and my students loved it!
In my lesson, I decided to focus on a simple and easily attainable data source – favourite colours. My students were immediately engaged as the data was personal to them. Around the room, I placed 5 coloured circles of different colours, and underneath the circles small paper squares of the same colour. Students were to (silently) go to the circle of their favourite colour, retrieve paper square of their favourite colour and sit back on the mat. As a class, we created a bar graph using the squares on the whiteboard, and interpreted the data through questioning and discussion. In another lesson, students transferred the data represented on the bar graph onto graph paper.

Curriculum:
In relation to the DT Curriculum, this activity would assist Year 3 students in recognising that different types of data can be represented in different ways (ACTDIK008), and would also be a great starting point in collecting and presenting different types of data using simple software to create useful information (ACTDIP009). This activity could easily be extended into exploring different representations of data, such as transferring the data into an online resource.

Integration:
This activity could be integrated in many ways. Examples include:
– Mathematics: Collecting and interpreting data to create representations such as graphs.
– Visual Arts: Exploring the various properties of students’ favourite colours and using them in creating artwork.
– English: Developing creative and descriptive writing (poetry, etc) about how their favourite colour might make them feel.

Criticisms/Concerns: Determining classroom and behaviour management in order for this activity to run smoothly needed to be well thought out. For example, how the students efficiently retrieved the coloured squares from around the classroom.