Organizing Survey Data

3, 4, 5

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

Lesson Rating 
PrintOne 45-Minute Class Period

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
  • teacher-chosen graphic organizer to be completed by whole group to show data (bar graph, pie chart, etc.)
  • colored markers and butcher paper
  • graphic organizer on overhead or smartboard
  • posted definition of collaboration
  • 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


Home Connection 

Students may take home the brainstormed project ideas to share with a parent(s) or trusted adult friend. They may ask an adult to help them think about the value and the challenges they could face with the different project ideas (focus on problem-solving and evaluation of potential outcomes). Make a list to return to school with following day.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Teacher says, "Ladies and Gentlemen, today is decision day. You have performed as excellent collectors of data -- also known as raw information -- and we are now ready to put all the information we have gathered together into a graphic organizer so we can see the big picture and draw conclusions. But first I am going to ask you to turn to a neighbor and talk about the information you collected. You will each have time to tell what you found out when you surveyed your family and community and what surprised you, if anything. I will tell you when the time is up so you will know when to give your partner his or her turn to share. Be good listeners and clear speakers. Decide who will share first." (Pause 10 seconds.) "OK, first person begin."

  2. After the time of sharing, teacher says, "Ok, let's 'popcorn' to hear what surprised you. Remember, if you want to share, pop up by your chair. I will give you THE NOD when it's your turn. Once you share, please sit down quickly. Ready - POPCORN!" Listen and write down students' ideas.

  3. Teacher says, "This begins our collaborative work, meaning that we are all focused on helping one another make good decisions and getting our assigned tasks completed. Let's take a minute to remind ourselves of what it looks like when we are effective collaborators" (discuss definition of working 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 students to use in their small groups of 3 -5 (type of graph may be differentiated based on level of sophistication in each group, if students are grouped by readiness).
    • Demonstrate how to name the columns/rows or sections of the graph.
    • Depending on experience with graphs, some students may be invited to sit at the "invitation table" with teacher to complete the graph.
    • Students enter the data they collected on the whole-group graph. Each group graphs the data its members collected. Once completed, students in each group count thenumber of responses in each category.
    • As groups finish, a representative from the group enters their collected data on the classroom graph.
  4. Talk about the numbers represented on the graph and what the consolidated data means. Say, "Now it is time to put on our drawing-conclusions hats. 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 student 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 students during small-group discussions read students' 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.