Organizing Survey Data

3, 4, 5

Participants gain exposure to how citizens organize in response to a need. They observe the benefits of group cooperation. They review data they have collected from surveys and work in collaborative groups to identify focus areas for the service-learning project.

PrintOne 45-Minute Session

The learner will:

  • understand that citizens organize in response to an identified need.
  • describe the benefits of group cooperation.
  • use data to inform decision-making.
  • organize data in graphic form.
  • previously completed surveys
  • graphic organizer to be completed by whole group to show data (bar graph, pie chart, etc.)
  • colored markers and butcher paper or online tool for graph making
  • philanthropy: the giving and sharing of time, talent or treasure intended for the common good
  • data: information in raw or unorganized form that refers to, or represents ideas
  • collaboration: to work together toward a shared goal



  1. Anticipatory Set:

    When children return to the group with their survey data, they meet in pairs to talk about what people said when they participated in the survey. They pairs compare the numbers and determine which issues and ideas were most pressing to the people they polled. Option: after meeting in pairs, the pairs join other breakout groups so they are meeting wtih four or six to compare and compile data and points of view. Ask them to determine whether there is one idea that rises to the top as most popular. 

  2. After the time of sharing, meet back in the whole group and ask for people to share what surprised them or gave them new ideas.

  3. Set some ground rules for the collaborative work, so all are focused on helping one another make good decisions and getting our assigned tasks completed. Effective collaborators work together for a shared goal, including listening, respecting ideas, sharing, and finding a solution that works best for all.

    Next, use the following steps to organize the data students collected:

    • Introduce the graphic organizer to be used (bar graph, pie graph, tally, etc.)
    • Distribute graphs for small groups of 3-5
    • Demonstrate how to name the columns/rows or sections of the graph.
    • The groups enter the data they collected on the whole-group graph. Each group graphs the data its members collected. Once completed, members in each group count the number of responses in each category.
    • As groups finish, a representative from the group enters their collected data on the whole group graph.
  4. Talk about the numbers represented on the graph and what the consolidated data means. Now it is time to draw conclusions. "What trends do you see?" Compare columns/sections and determine the 3-4 needs that most community members think should be addressed.

  5. Create groups for the top 3-4 needs identified and have the smaller groups discuss how the class could address that need. Give them 7 minutes to brainstorm project ideas. Collect their brainstorming papers to use in the following lesson.

  6. Have each participant write a statement or reflection about the data-collection process and the value of collaboration in decision-making. They may address whether they felt everyone was heard and treated fairly. Did the collaboration help them make decisions and come up with creative ideas?


Observe and question children during small-group discussions read their reflections on collaborative efforts review small groups' data graphs

Cross Curriculum 

Students define the service-learning project. They review the data collected to determine the health and safety needs identified by peers and family members. They determine the issue focus and collaborate to plan a project.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define philanthropy as the giving and sharing of time, talent, or treasure intended for the common good.
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.6 Explain why acting philanthropically is good for the community, state, nation, or world.
    3. Standard DP 04. Operational Characteristics of Nonprofit Organizations
      1. Benchmark E.1 Describe how citizens organize in response to a need.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark E.3 Describe a benefit of group cooperation.
    2. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark E.7 Describe why the classroom, school, or neighborhood is a community governed by fundamental democratic principles.
    3. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark E.1 Explore and research issues and present solutions using communication tools.
      2. Benchmark E.3 Participate in acts of democratic citizenship in the classroom or school, such as voting, group problem solving, classroom governance or elections.
  3. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark E.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.