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Web Quests



The Web Activity for Chapter 3 asks your child to explore data on several websites and then to create graphs using this information. Each of the websites presents the reader with information about the most popular baby names chosen by parents each year. Four of the sites present data from Canadian provinces and one site gives favourite names from an American source. Many children are interested in names and are particularly excited if they see their own name in a list. This exploration will allow your child to see that the popularity of names has changed over time and that some names can be considered 'popular' while others are 'unique'. Your child can find out which category their name falls under.

During the data management unit, your child has been collecting and sorting information (data) and then placing this data in charts, pictographs and bar graphs. A pictograph is a graph that uses symbols, or small pictures, to represent data. Your child has learned that these symbols can represent more than one, and so they may choose to use a symbol such as J to represent 5 people. Your child can also choose to make a bar graph to represent the information and should be encouraged to use a scale on the vertical axis (e.g. counting by 5's).

Before logging on to the websites talk to your child about names in your own family. You might discuss common first names in your family and discuss how or why your child's name was chosen. Your child could explain what their favourite name is and explain to you why they like that name.

Popular names in Nova Scotia

Baby's Most Chosen Names in Saskatchewan

Baby Boy's Names in Alberta

Baby Girl's Names in Alberta

Baby's Most Chosen Name in British Columbia

Most Popular baby names in the last 120 years

If you decide to introduce your child to only one site, it is useful to know that the Alberta references are the most complex to use because they list all the names in alphabetical order rather than in order of popularity. The American site provides a very complete list with information from many years of data. Look at the sites before helping your child to find the information they will graph.

Allow your child time to take the information from the various sites and place the information into the Organizational Charts Form and Letter Form that have been provided. This will help them to find similarities and differences in the information and also help them to decide about the type of graph that they will make to display the information.

While your child is exploring the websites, ask:

"How is the information in the different charts the same and different? Are some names popular in all provinces, but in different orders?"

"Are the same names popular each year? Explain."

"Is your name on any of the lists? Explain why you think it is or is not there."

"What year were you born? Is you name on a list for that year?"

"If all the lists are slightly different, how can the company use this information to help them decide which nameplates to make?"

Your child may need some assistance to create the graphs. Ask your child to tell you what scale they will use on their graph before they begin. Remind your child that the scale should make it easier to make and read the graph. Ask:

"Why did the scale make sense for those numbers?"

"What does the graph tell you about the most popular names in that province?"

You child will have more success creating a bar graph if they use grid paper. Grid (or graph) paper of various kinds is available for printing from Graph Paper Printer.

Your child should be familiar with the following vocabulary to describe the graphs:

data, tally chart, pictograph, bar graph, scale, axis (plural axes), most popular, least popular.