Survey Ideas to Graph for 3rd, 4th and 5th Graders

Surveys You Can Take to Graph Data

Designing surveys and graphing data is a skill taught in grade school.
Designing surveys and graphing data is a skill taught in grade school. PhotoAlto/Eric Audras, Getty Images

As early as kindergarten, students are required to take and analyze surveys. In the younger grades, analyzing graphs can be done on calendars. For instance, each day the children will record the type of weather based on a few weather symbols (cloudy, sunny, rainy foggy etc.) The children are then probed for how many rainy days have we had this month? What type of weather have we mostly had this month?

The teacher will also use the chart paper to record data about the children. For instance, let's graph the type of shoes children are wearing. On the top of the chart paper, the teacher will have buckles, ties, slip on and velcro. Each student would put a tic mark on the type of shoe they are wearing. Once all children have identified the type of shoe they are wearing, the students will then analyze the data. These skills are early graphing and data analyzing skills. As students progress, they will take their own surveys and graph their results. Students need to be taught that there is a variety of ways to record their results. Here are a few ideas to promote graphing and surveying skills.
Sample blank survey in PDF

Survey Ideas for Students to Graph and Analyze

  1. Survey the type (genre) of books people like to read.
  2. Survey how many musical instruments a person can list.
  3. Survey a favorite sport.
  1. Survey a favorite color or number.
  2. Survey favorite pets or types of animals.
  3. Survey the weather: temperature, precipitation or type of day (hazy, windy, foggy, rainy etc).
  4. Survey a favorite TV show or movie.
  5. Survey favorite snack foods, soda flavors, ice cream flavors.
  6. Survey favorite holiday locations or favorite all time holiday.
  1. Survey favorite subject in school.
  2. Survey number of siblings in a family.
  3. Survey amount of time spent watching TV in a week.
  4. Survey amount of time spent playing video games.
  5. Survey the number of countries people have been to.
  6. Survey what classmates want to be when they grow up.
  7. Survey the types of ads that come on TV over a period of time.
  8. Survey the different color of cars that drive by over a specific period of time.
  9. Survey the types of ads found in a specific magazine

Graphing and Analyzing Survey Data

When children have the opportunity to take opinion polls/surveys, the next step is to analyze what the data tells them. Children should try to determine the best way to organize their data. (Bar graph, line graph, pictograph.) After their data is organized, they should be able to state specifics about their data. For instance, what happens the most, the least and why do they think that is. Eventually, this type of activity will lead to the mean, median and the mode. Children will require ongoing practice taking polls and surveys, graphing their results and interpreting and sharing the results of their polls and surveys.

See also the graphing and charting worksheets.

Edited by Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.