Fun & Easy Graphing Activities for First and Second Grades

graphing activities

Graphing can be one of the most fun and interactive math concepts to teach primary students. They can be involved in all the steps from data collection to tallying results to displaying their findings in concrete graphs, bar graphs, and pictographs.

Using fun graphing activities that engage students is key to helping them learn the concepts. I've listed a few fun activities below to help you get started teaching graphing!

Creating Concrete Graphs

Students can sort real objects like blocks and make a concrete graph with them.  First they can sort them into groups by color, count them, and then tally up the totals.

Items they can sort and tally could be  pompoms, buttons, crayons, counters, pattern blocks, shapes, connecting cubes, candy, marbles or colored paper clips.

sort and tally activity

concrete graph

Creating Pictographs

Another fun activity is creating a graph with your class.  Topics could include pets, favorite colors, school subjects, or birthdays.  Choose a symbol to represent the data in the graph.  For example, if you are creating a birthday graph, you could give students a picture of a cake or a cupcake.  Each student can color their picture and place it under their birthday month or season.  You can then easily see which month or season has the most birthdays.

class graphing activity

Creating Bar Graphs

Once students have made concrete graphs and pictographs, they can start creating their own bar graphs!

If you're looking for some easy worksheets to get them started, grab these FREE Sorting & Graphing Worksheets!

Your students can sort, color, and tally the fruit on the first page.  Then they can create a bar graph based on the data!

bar graph activity

Once they have filled in a premade bar graph, they may be ready to create their own!

Start by giving them a tally chart that already has the data filled in and a blank graph.

Teach them about the parts of a graph like the title and labels (number of students and choices).

parts of a graph poster

Then have students label and color in the squares on their own graph to represent the data.  You can also include a checklist so students can be sure that they have put all the information needed.

bar graph activity

The activity pictured above can be found here.

Survey & Graph Activity

Once students know how to make bar graphs and pictographs, you can have them complete a project that involves surveying their classmates, tallying the results, and displaying the information in the form of a graph.  You can use these types of graphing activities as assessments.

bar graph


survey and graph activity


If you like these ideas, you can find many of the activities in the graphing resources below!