Friday, October 14, 2011

Pumpkin Graphing

This month's featured graphing format is the clothespin graph which captures data from simple yes-no questions. Use a piece of oaktag or foam board to construct the actual graph part that is reused. Write the question on a sheet of paper and attach it to the top of the board. Provide clothespins for students to use to affix to the yes or no side of the graph. Some teachers write student names on the clothespins so that it is easy to see who did or didn't vote yet.

  • Do you like pumpkin pie?
  • Have you ever gone to a pumpkin farm to pick out  a pumpkin?
  • Do you like to eat pumpkin seeds?
  • Have you ever carved a jack-o-lantern?
A clothespin graph may also be used to record data for any two-choice option.
  • Will your holiday costume be friendly or scary?
  • Did heads or tails win the game?
  • Will you go away for Thanksgiving or eat at home?


  1. I am curious to know how you incorporate this into your class time?

  2. Some teachers reserve bulletin board space for the graph of the week. I've also seen kindergarten teachers do a graph of the day. Students become accustomed to the routine and quickly move their name markers to the correct response.

    You can tie the graph into holidays, current events, literature units, science, etc. The analysis of the results (data) are the mathematical emphasis. Asking students to interpret the data and generalize the results are important mathematical skills for life.