The Topic:
Charts & Graphs

Easier - A graph is a chart or drawing that shows the relationship between changing things.
They are a diagram displaying the relationship between numbers or amounts. Common graphs use bars, lines, or parts of a circle to display data.
Harder - A graph or chart is used to present facts in visual form. They are a drawing that displays the relative sizes of numerical quantities. A graph is one of the easiest ways to compare numbers.
Graphs can be used to illustrate many types of data and are not limited to the simpler types such as line, bar, and circle. They should be used to make facts clearer and more understandable.
Charts and Graphs: Showing Statistical Data Visually
This website examines misrepresentation of data that sometimes leads to conclusions (generalizations) which otherwise might not be warranted.
Create a Graph
Sometimes complicated information is just hard to understand and needs an illustration. Try your hand at creating some and see if it helps in explaining what you are trying to show.
Charts and Graphs by B. Guffin & N. Poppen from South Dakota Department of Education
Don't miss exploring this outstanding learning site and its links collection to websites that involve creating, reading and interpreting data using charts and graphs.
Learning About Charts and Graphs by F. Oldfield from Educational Resources for Adults
This series of lessons can help you learn more about the various types of charts and graphs. Not only can you learn how to extract information from them, but you will also learn how to build them.
Other Introductory Lessons:
2) Charts from BBC ReviseWise Maths
3) Graphs and Charts by B. Dueber from USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service
4) Meet Pie Chart Pam from
After visiting several of the websites, complete one or more of the following activities.
Make Your First Graph! You can connect to some great data and content ideas at sites like (1) Real Time Data Sites (, (2) U.S. Census Bureau (, (3) Weekly Nielson Ratings (, and (4) FedStats Home Page ( Select a subject for which you will collect and display data. Or gather your own original data - - such as finding out how many and what type and color of vehicles pass by your house or park at your school. Then present your findings with a graph(s). Select the best type graph for your data. Can you incorporate pictures? Can you effectively use color? Extend the project by collecting data at different times of the day, on different days of the week, and by also identifying the types of vehicles?
Complete a Charts and Graphs WebQuest. Follow or adapt the procedures that you find at the following webQuest sites:
1) Charts and Graphs (Grade 9) by J. Caulum
2) Charts and Graphs: A WebQuest using Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint by I. Benson
3) Graphs and Charts…What are They Good For?
4) Graphs Galore (Grade 5)
Analyze the Charts and Graphs Used in the Press. Look through a few issues of recent magazines or newspapers. Collect as many different types of charts and graphs as you can find. Analyze each of them as to their purpose, type of graph, data information, trends shown, and use of color and pictures. Put together a display that shows the variety of charts and graphs that you find.
Charts and Graphs
Tables, charts and graphs are convenient ways to clearly show your data. Choose the best graph form to express your results.
Chart / Graph (Grades 3-8)
Here are instructions for making a chart using AppleWorks Spreadsheet or Microsoft Excel.
Related Online Tutorials:
2) Chart and Graph Tutorial (Advanced level) by J.F. Lacher
3) Create Charts and Diagrams in PowerPoint 2002 by G. Bajaj
4) Creating a Chart/Graph with ClarisWorks
5) Creating a Chart or Graph (Microsoft Excel)
Describing Data with Charts and Graphs
This website describes and illustrates the nine basic type of charts and graphs that can be formed using Microsoft Excel.
Other Instruction Websites:
2) Can I Make a Graph or Chart? (Excel Instruction)
3) Create Charts and Graphs With Excel by L. Jackson from Education World
4) How Do I Make a Chart (Graph)? (Microsoft Excel for Macintosh) . . .
Every Picture Tells a Story
This brief article idea and tips website explains how to create eye-catching, information-packed graphics, charts and graphs.
Graphics, Charts, and Graphs by K. Swortzel at Mississippi State University
This site introduces the various types charts and graphs plus explains the advantages, disadvanges, and purposes for selecting and using each.
Graphing Overview by E. Stapel from PurpleMath
This overview touches on the following graph types: straight lines, absolute values, quadratics, general polynomials, radical functions, rational functions, and piecewise functions.
Presentation Graphics Design at
Create better presentations with these tips and tutorials for creating slides, charts, and posters. Learn how to create presentation materials that communicate effectively.
Related Websites:
2) PowerPoint Presentation Tips: Charts & Tables
3)Using Charts
Websites for Teachers
Apples A Peel To Me (Grades K-1) by O. Moreno
Students will learn to gather, record and interpret data as they use manipulatives, real objects, and pictures to make graphs
Other Graph Lessons at the Smile Program Mathematics Index:
2) Collecting Data and Graphing (Grades 3-5) by J. Ramsey, Jr.
3) Counting And Graphing by V. Smith (Grades 1-2)
Data Analysis, Probability and Statistics, and Graphing (Grades 9 and Up)
Reading charts and graphs, interpreting data, and making decisions based on the information are key skills to being a successful worker and an informed citizen. Here are a series of activities designed to improve those skills.
Related Website:
2) Data Analysis, Probability and Statistics, and Graphing
Graphics Calculators
If you have a graphing calculator (TI or otherwise), use this page to discover a world of resources to help you get the most out of it!
Line Graphs of Weather Forecasts (Grades 4-6) from Teachnet
The student will interpret data; make and read a line graph, understand plotting points on an X-Y axis, and round numbers.
M & M Math (Grade K) by K. Walker from Learn NC . . .
Using small individual bags of M&Ms, students will do activities to review their understanding of estimating, sorting, graphing, mean, median, mode, fractions, percentage, and averaging.
Related Lesson Plans:
2) Fruit Loops Graphing by S. Hanner (Grades 3-5)
3) M&M Graphing and Probability (Grades 1-5) from AskERIC Lesson Plans
4) M & M Math by S. Finchum
Usage and Interpretation of Graphs (Grades 3-6)
Students predict how many shoe eyelets are in the classroom without looking at the other students' shoes!
vertical axis
horizontal axis
grid line
high low
3-D surface
x y coordinates
numerical data
graphic design
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 9/00. Updated, 10/03.