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What is a survey?

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You’re playing with friends at school, and you decide to switch activities. You suggest that it’s time to play with the blocks, but you start to wonder if everyone would enjoy that activity. The question: “Do you like to build with blocks?” If only there were a way to discover and record your classmates’ opinions… There is! It’s called a survey!

A survey is a tool for collecting information about people’s opinions and experiences.

Surveys can be given by researchers, or they can be questionnaires that people fill out on their own! Some surveys come in the mail, while others are administered over the phone. Surveys may also be filled out online. You can even conduct a survey of your own using a pencil and paper!

Around the time of presidential elections, many people participate in surveys that collect information about voters’ opinions and their views of the candidates.

by Mya Kagan (Whyzz writer)

Exploration

Now it’s time for you to take a survey! While many surveys feature a variety of questions, today you may decide to ask just one. First, think of the question you would like to answer. For example, you could ask a question like “Do you enjoy dancing?” Or if your family is trying to decide where to eat and you wonder if everyone will like a particular type of food, perhaps you could ask a question such as “Do you like lasagna?”

On a piece of paper, write “yes” or “no,” Now it’s time to ask your question and record the results! As each person answers, simply draw a tally mark, or short vertical line, next to the answer given. Now count the marks. What was the winning choice? Share the results with the people who took part in your survey!

Sources

How to Do a Survey. MathIsFun.comLesson Planning in the Context of Projects: Helping Children Take Surveys. Illinois Projects in Practice. Illinois PIP.