Problem and Solution: Piece of Pie

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Language Arts, Writing, Writing Process, Mathematics, Data Analysis and Probability

Grade 5- 8


The students will use pie charts to support their writing.


  1. Instruct each student to write a list of everything he or she does during a normal day and approximately how much time he or she spends doing each thing. You might wish to have each student keep track of his or her time over the course of a day or two.
  2. Distribute the Piece of Pie Chart work sheet. Discuss the chart with the students. Explain how each segment represents a percentage. (Review percentages and fractions, if necessary.)
  3. Draw the chart from the work sheet on the board, but change the percentage information. Have the students come to the board to reconfigure the chart, reflecting the new statistics.
  4. Distribute one copy of the Pie Chart Teplate to each student. Have the student use the gray guidelines to complete the chart for the way he or she spends the day. The gray lines mark every hour. The student should trace over the appropriate lines with a crayon. The represented segment (label) can then be written darkly in the space with pencil or pen, and then the space filled in lightly with crayon so as not to cover the label. Each segment should use a different color crayon so they are easily distinguishable from one another.
  5. Looking at the completed pie chart, each student should consider the use of time it reflects and find a problem area (e.g., too much television time or too little sleep). Now, distribute a second copy of the Pie Chart Template. Determining the problem, the student should complete a new pie chart that reflects a solution--a better use of time.
  6. With pie charts in hand, the student will write a problem-and-solution essay: the problem is the original use of time, and the solution is the new arrangement. The neat and colored pie charts can be bound with the completed writing and displayed for others to see.


  • copy of Piece of Pie Chart (see the link to the activity sheets below) for each student
  • two copies of Pie Chart Template (see the link to the activity sheets below) for each student
  • pencils
  • writing paper
  • colored pens or pencils
  • crayons

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