After adding a set of bar graph worksheets to the kindergarten worksheets collection last week, a number of people emailed me asking for beginner-level graphing worksheets. Thank you all for your comments. That was a wonderful suggestion and prompted me to create a collection of pictograph worksheets.
Pictographs are a type of bar graph that use actual pictures to represent data (instead of just coloring in squares on a grid, as with standard bar graphs). Pictographs are a nice introduction to graphing since they do not require counting. Instead, your child must simply paste each picture in the correct column and then make observations about the height of the different columns on the page.
Begin with a two-item pictograph worksheet, since it will require your child to sort all the pictures into just two groups. Also, it is easier to make comparisons between two groups since it will be obvious which group has more than the other.
When your child is able to easily complete a two-item pictograph worksheet, you can challenge him to create a four-item pictograph worksheet using the same method. A four-item pictograph will challenge your child to first sort a group of pictures into four different groups and then accurately paste each picture in the correct column.
To reinforce the importance of pictographs, consider creating pictographs at home by cutting out pictures from a magazine. By using a blank bar graph worksheet, you can label each column with a certain characteristic (such as color) and then challenge your child to cut out squares of color from the magazine and paste them into the corresponding column. Or your child could cut out pictures of different household items and paste all foods into one column and all articles of clothing in a different column. After your child has pasted a number of pictures onto the blank graphing worksheet, encourage him to make comments about which column has more or less than the other.
When your child is able to comfortably complete these pictograph worksheets, consider introducing him to bar graph worksheets, which are a more advanced type of graph for young children, since they require counting.