Making a Class Pictogram

Social Studies/Math Activity

To help children understand the nature of social groups and their roles as members of various groups, children compare the kinds of groups they belong to in your school or neighborhood.

For this activity you will want to review the criteria that makes a social group: people gathered together with particular interests or roles such as a family school clubs, sports teams, or book groups.


  • scrap paper and pencils
  • large poster-size piece of construction paper
  • five white two-inch squares of construction paper for each child
  • colored pencils, crayons, or markers


  1. Remind children that when they make sets in math that they make groups of like things. (Example: a set of cubes, a set of crayons, a set of paper clips. Explain that people are members of groups, too.)

  2. Review the kinds of groups that exist in the school/neighborhood such as: recess groups, lunch groups, subject area groups (reading and math), school clubs, scouting groups, sports teams, car pool or travel groups (bus riders, walkers)

  3. Have children each list on scrap paper five groups they belong to, including their families.

  4. Then make a list of pictures or symbols on the chalkboard to represent each of the groups children have identified. For example, reading group symbol could be a picture of an open book, scouts symbol could be a picture of the scouting fleur de lis, family could be a group of smiley faces, etc. Have students copy the symbols onto squares of construction paper to match their personal list of groups.

  5. Make a class pictogram, pasting children's paper symbol squares on a labeled chart to show how many students belong to each group.


  • Children could create individual pictograms to show the groups they belong to. Hang the pictograms in pairs and encourage children to compare with their classmates the groups to which they belong.

  • Have children discuss the reason why they belong to each group. Invite them to think of the characteristics of each group. For example, recess groups may change membership depending on the games children play or who may be out of school on a particular day. Reading groups usually have the same membership day to day as do family groups. Talk about how family group activities differ from school or club group activities.

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