In the previous post, Finny made a pictogram with a key of 1:1, where one animal on the pictogram, represented one animal. Ioan decided to look at an example where it made more sense to change the key.


  • Bath crayons
  • Tuff tray
  • Fruit sorting game
  • Animal figurines


Colours of fruit

Ioan explained that a pictogram is a chart that uses pictures to represent data. He had left the totals in from his fruit tally chart, so all he needed to do was add in the ‘pictures’, or in this case, wooden fruit.

Key of 1:5

In the key he had chosen, one wooden piece of wooden fruit on the pictogram, represented five pieces of fruit on his plate. He had chosen five because all his totals were multiples of five.

The ten green fruit were represented by two apples.

Ioan added the last two colours to his pictogram and then explained why using this key was beneficial.

As you can see, the fruit kept rolling about on the tray. Using this key meant that there were fewer fruit to keep in place. Similarly, if you had been drawing the pictures, there were fewer pictures to draw.

It also meant that instead of counting up 20 fruit, in order to compare the data, you could quickly make comparisons between one, two, three or four pieces of fruit.

Key of 1:10

Ioan had mentioned that you could have a key where one piece of wooden fruit, represented 10 pieces of fruit on his plate. We decided to see what that would look like.

He started off by finding the fruit where the total was a multiple of 10, then adding the right number of fruit to his pictogram. For the fruit that had a total of 5 fruit, he explained that he would draw half a fruit, because he couldn’t cut one of the wooden fruit in half.

He wasn’t happy having a mixture of drawn fruit and wooden fruit, so decided to draw all the fruit in as a circle. He remembered to change the fruit in his key to a circle too.

Comparing the two keys

Ioan found it interesting to see the pictures of the two trays alongside each other. When he doubled the amount of fruit that one picture represented, changing the key from five to ten, then the amount of fruit shown on the pictogram halved.

Types of animals

Next, Ioan decided to look at animals you might find in your garden. He had the giggles because Finny had just wandered in, spotted the frogs on Ioan’s tray, and exclaimed, “Poisonous frogs in your garden! Where do you live?’

Key of 1:1

Ioan started off with an easy key, where one toy animal represented one animal in the garden. He added the ladybirds, bees, frogs, then I left him to add the butterflies to the pictogram, while I went to sort out Cici.

When I came back, Ioan had encountered a few problems. He couldn’t fit all of the butterflies on. He also spotted that six ladybirds looked like the equivalent of two frogs, so wanted to make his ladybirds and bees bigger.

He solved the butterfly problem by making a second row below, which had the added bonus that you could now count up how many animals you had in twos.

Key of 1:2

Ioan decided to change his key, so that one toy animal represented two animals in the garden. This meant he could remove his second row of animals.

To solve the problem of six ladybirds looking like the equivalent of two frogs, he swapped the small ladybirds and bee for some larger ones. This made the pictograms much easier to read.

Interpreting the pictogram

Ioan could now count in twos to work out how many of each animal he had. The three of advantages of having changed the key were that:

  1. It was easier to fit all the animals on.
  2. There would be fewer animals to draw.
  3. It was easier to read and interpret the pictogram now.

DfES Outcomes for EYFS and National Curriculum (2013)

Numeracy Year 2 programme of study


  • interpret and construct simple pictograms, tally charts and simple tables
  • ask and answer simple questions by counting the number of objects in each category and sorting the categories by quantity
  • ask and answer questions about totalling and comparing categorical data.

Number – multiplication and division

  • recall and use multiplication and division facts for the 2, 5 and 10 multiplication tables