What is a tally chart?

What is a tally chart?
We explain what a tally chart is and how children are taught to use a tally chart to collect data and interpret data on tally charts.

What is a tally chart?

Tally charts are used to collect data quickly and efficiently. Filling in a chart with marks representing numbers is faster than writing out words or figures and the data is collected into sub-groups immediately, making it easy to analyse.

Children start to look at and use tally charts in Year 3. They start with an empty tally chart like this one:

When collecting the information, for every person who liked a particular part of Christmas the most, a line would be drawn in the correct box. When the child gets to five lines, the fifth line needs to be crossed through the first four. (This makes counting the lines at the end easier!)
The finished tally chart might look like this:  

Children then use tally charts to construct bar charts or pictograms.

Children continue to use and interpret tally charts throughout Key Stage 2, and tally charts oftern feature in KS2 maths SATs questions.