Grade 5

Survey Says

Computational Thinker
closed fist with smiley face, sad face, neutral face on it


Computational thinking is the thought processes involved in formulating a problem and expressing its solution(s) in such a way that a human or a computer can effectively carry out.

Students are presented with a scenario surrounding a relevant contemporary public issue on which they can take a stand. Students will work together to create a survey that will then be shared with various groups, in order to analyze the ways in which certain groups perceive a given issue. Once collected, the data will be discussed and analyzed. Finally, students will support their opinions using the data collected.

This activity will take several class periods to create the survey, take the survey, and analyze the data. 

Students will:

  • Be able to create and administer an online survey using Google Forms.
  • Be able to analyze collected data and draw logical conclusions based on the information obtained.
  • Be able to use collected data to support a position.

Vocabulary Words:

  1. Survey: (Verb) To survey is to investigate the opinions or experience of individuals by asking them questions.

  2. Survey: (Noun) A survey is the tool used to investigate the opinions or experience of individuals by asking them questions.

  3. Visual Representation: Visual representation is presenting data or information using drawings, graphs, number lines, or any graphic representation that make abstract concepts easier to understand.

  4. Analyze: To analyze is to carefully examine the specific information in order to interpret the data and explain it to others.

To prepare for this lesson:

See the Accommodations Page and Charts on the 21things4students website in the Teacher Resources. 

Directions for this activity:

  1. Teacher shares the following scenario with students: The local school board is looking at ways to reduce bullying and is considering requiring uniforms for students within your school. (For additional scenarios, see below in the extension activities listed under “Notes”)
  2. As a whole group, students will brainstorm specific questions that they might ask stakeholders (ex: teachers, principals, students, etc.) to determine opinions surrounding this topic.
  3. Students will vote on which questions to include in an online survey.
  4. The teacher creates a survey and shares it with stakeholders. (Students are not able to share it if they are under age 13.)
  5. Once responses have been collected, students will work in small groups to discuss and analyze the data. Encourage students to explore the visual representation of the data associated with each question.
  6. Students will discuss whether the data was surprising or if the data confirmed their expectations.
  7. Students will produce a written response wherein they take a personal stand on the issue and use the data in one (or more) of the following ways:
    1. to support his/her position
    2. to or address concerns regarding an opposing viewpoint
    3. to illustrate the difference in perception between specific groups (e.g.: teachers and students)


Possible Extensions:

  • Students could create different visual representations of the data in order to make the data easier for others to understand. Students could include these visual representations within their writing.
  • Students could create and administer their own surveys.

Additional Scenarios:

  • Should teachers be allowed to require students to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance?
  • Should children of illegal immigrants be allowed to attend school?

Different options for assessing the students:

  • Observations
  • Check for understanding
  • Informal observations may be used to assess students as they discuss and analyze the data.
  • Students will be assessed on the effective use of data within their written response using a simple checklist:
    • Did the student state his/her stand on the issue?
    • Did the student use data from the survey in one of the following ways?
    • Support his/her position
    • Address concerns regarding an opposing viewpoint
    • Illustrate the difference in perception between specific groups (ex: teachers and students)
  • Did the student’s overall explanation follow logically given the raw data?

Note: ELA teachers may choose to use a rubric designed for assessing opinion writing.

MITECS: Michigan adopted the "ISTE Standards for Students" called MITECS (Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students) in 2018.

Computational Thinker
5b. Students collect data or identify relevant data sets, use digital tools to analyze them, and represent data in various ways to facilitate problem-solving and decision-making.

Device: PC, Chromebook, Mac, iPad 

Browser: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, ALL

App, Extension, or Add-on:
Google Forms

Google Forms

How to Use Google Forms 2023

Survey Monkey

Survey Monkey: Create and Publish Online Surveys in Minutes


  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.1  Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.1.A  - Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer's purpose.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.1.B - Provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details.

Analyze math data.

Analyze scientific facts. 

5 – P3.1.2  Use graphic data and other sources to analyze information about a contemporary public issue related to the United States Constitution and evaluate alternative resolutions.

This task card was created by Jean Smith, Van Buren Public Schools, January 2018. Updated November 2023.