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This post has been co-written with Ben Wolfson, a full-time educator and assistant principal in the USA.
It’s still unknown why dinosaurs hold such a fascination for kindergarten students. By the time they reach middle school, only a few dino fans remain, but you can guarantee that most students in your kindergarten class will be able to tell you the difference between an apatosaurus and a diplodocus, and can read these incredible complex, multi-syllable words like a Harvard professor. It makes sense, therefore, to tap into this obsession with a classroom dinosaur theme for a few weeks. There’s plenty of fun decorating to do, and you’ll drive up learning engagement by bringing dinosaur shapes and pictures into your centers. This cute dino themed kindergarten graphing worksheet will play to their strengths while also giving them practice with data interpretation.
Why Teach Data Interpretation In Kindergarten
It may feel like an upper grades skill to be able to chart and talk about data in graphical form, but it all stems from the foundations you put down in kindergarten. Being able to visualize complex data sets in an easily digestible manner helps young students to make sense of the world around them, and making bar charts is the easiest way to do this. Bar charts also normalize the size of groups, so you can easily tell whether a group of elephants or grapes has more members without getting confused by the size of the objects. This roll and graph activity helps students to present their work in chart form, and also helps them talk about frequency and early probability.
Preparing Dinosaur Roll and Graph Activity
Extending This Dinosaur Graphing Activity
The idea behind this data interpretation dinosaur graphing activity is simple. Students roll the pre-made die and mark off which of the six dinosaur shapes was shown. They then repeat till one shape has been rolled either 5 or 10 times. To push their thinking and get more from this fun kindergarten graphing worksheet, try some of these extension activities:
Create comparison number sentences – bar charts are an excellent way to visualize number comparisons as it’s easy to read horizontally to see which of two groups has the greatest number. In this dinosaur graphing activity, students can make statements like “I rolled more square dinosaurs than star dinosaurs” and can give you the numbers to back up their conjecture.
Data analysis – part of the fun of data interpretation in kindergarten is using the data to make predictions about the future. Start by having individual students look at their completed bar chart (once they’ve rolled 5 or 10 of one particular dinosaur) and make a prediction on what shape they think will happen next. You can then collect data from a small group or the entire class to see if there are common patterns that might help predict what dice roll would come next.
Doubles rolling game – finally, you can introduce some SEL work by playing the doubles game. Simply put two students together, and have them roll the dice together, counting how many times they can do it before rolling a double. They’ll take turns, talk about the game, share their successes and commiserate together. It’s a no skill game that provides a fun 5 minute brain break, and they’ll love trying to become the dinosaur dice champions.