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Bars, Lines, & Pies


Grades 4-5


Bars, Lines, & Pies, an installment in the Expect the Unexpected With Math® series, opens students’ minds to the practical power of graphing concepts while learning about the environment and recycling.

Expect the Unexpected With Math® -- Bars, Lines, & PiesFree Printable Math Lesson Plan and Activities

Topics Covered


Using Bars, Lines, & Pies, students will create, apply and analyze pie charts, bar graphs and line graphs.



Students will understand:

  • That a pie chart is used to represent a part-to-whole relationship;
  • That the size of each segment represents the segment’s proportion to the whole set of data;
  • How to critically read pie charts and use information to perform calculations and make predictions;
  • How to use bar graphs to represent, analyze and generalize data patterns;
  • That bar graphs show trends in data and how one variable is affected as the other rises or falls;
  • How to propose and justify predictions based on bar graph analysis;
  • That line graphs show how two pieces of information are related and how data change over time;
  • That the dependent variable of a line graph typically appears on the Y-axis, and the independent variable appears on the X-axis; and
  • That line graphs are used to analyze the nature of changes in quantities.

Bars, Lines, & Pies is aligned with NCTM standards.


About Expect the Unexpected With Math®


The dynamic lessons and activities in the Expect the Unexpected With Math® series use story lines that students find interesting to show them the fun and relevance of math. Motivate your students to achieve math success in the classroom and in real-world situations outside of school!

View the other installments in this series:


Contact the Foundation at for availability of printed materials or to inquire about an actuary presenting this program to your classroom.


Use the Classroom Guide for Actuaries to present Bars, Lines, & Pies to a classroom near you.