Pictograph: Birthdays

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Mathematics, Measurement (includes Time), Data Analysis and Probability

Grade 1- 3


Students graph the birthdays of their classmates.



  1. Reproduce the table (page 6) for students and make two overhead transparencies of it.
  2. Enlarge the calendar circle (page 32) on poster board or make an overhead transparency of it.
  3. Reproduce the patterns (page 32) so that each student gets one large birthday cake, enough candles to show his/her age, and about 20 small birthday cakes.
  4. Reproduce the pictograph (page 33).
  1. Ask each student to sign her/his name on the calendar circle to show in which month she/he was born. Encourage the class to help you count the number of students who have birthdays during each month. Use the overhead transparency of the table to record the data, as shown below. Ask students to record the data on their copies of the table.
    Month Number of Students
    January 1
    February 2
    March 2
    April 3
    May 0
    June 3
    July 1
    August 1
    September 2
    October 4
    November 3
    December 2
  3. Use the floor or wall graph to model the activity. To make the key, use a large birthday cake pattern to show that each cake represents one student who has a birthday during that month.
  4. Provide each student with a large birthday cake pattern and enough candles to show her/his age. Ask students to glue the candles onto their cakes. Have students place the large cakes in the appropriate sections of the graph, making sure they are aligned vertically.
  5. Have students use the data and the small cake patterns to create their pictographs. Remind them to align the cakes. Encourage students to count by twos to compress the data.
  6. Ask students questions about the graph to check their understanding.
Extension Activities:
  1. Have each student write the day of her/his birth on a large cake pattern. Ask students to help you arrange the cakes in numerical order for each month on the wall or floor graph.
  2. Teach students the abbreviations for the months of the year.
  3. Ask students to make graphs that show the months in which their family members were born.


  • pencils
  • crayons
  • scissors
  • Birthdays activity pages

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