Data detective

8 - 10 years
Ideas to help your child practise their numeracy skills - with you, and online
Girl drawing line graph on transparent glass window

Developed in partnership with Education Services Australia

The Australian Curriculum sets the goal for what all students should learn as they progress through their school life. Skills in the Year 3-4 curriculum include:

  • collecting, recording and displaying data as tables, diagrams, picture graphs and column graphs
  • identifying questions or issues for data that can be separated into groups and counted
  • collecting data, organising into categories and creating displays using lists, tables, picture graphs and simple column graphs
  • using digital technologies to create tables and graphs
  • interpreting and comparing data displays
  • using picture graphs where one picture can represent more than one thing – eg one face standing for ten people.

It’s easy to help your child practise these skills as part of everyday life – just use these simple ideas.

Get graphing

We come across data and surveys all the time, so it’s important for your child to develop good data literacy skills. To give them experience at collecting, analysing and interpreting data:

  • discuss graphs that you come across in newspapers, books or online

    Look at these graphs of the size and lifespan of different dinosaur species. Do you like the way they use pictures of dinosaurs instead of plain bars?
  • ask your child to collect data to answer a specific question (they'll be more interested if they might benefit!)

    Could you collect data about how many minutes we spend reading each week? If we get to more than two hours, I think we should celebrate!
  • help your child to turn their data into a table, a column graph or a picture graph using paper and pen, a spreadsheet program or an app or online tool they've learned through school.

Projects such as these will give your child valuable practice at thinking about issues such as:

  • how to design a survey or data collection to answer a specific question
  • whether to use yes/no, multiple-choice or open-ended questions
  • how to record data
  • different ways that data can be presented.

Go online

For online reinforcement, Strawberry milkshake warrior princess will give your child practice at:

  • using a bar graph to create a picture of the data.



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Last modified
15 April 2020