f65 Usage and Interpretation of Graphs - An AskERIC Lesson Plan
AskERIC Lesson Plans
Lesson Plan #: AELP-MPS0008

Usage and Interpretation of Graphs

An AskERIC Lesson Plan

AUTHOR: Gary Malsam; Sherman, CO

GRADE LEVEL/SUBJECT: Appropriate for grades 3 - 6.


Whereas graphs are used extensively in our everyday lives, many students are unaware of the multiple uses of graphs.


Through this lesson the students will receive a review on graphs. This lesson also involves problem solving and will require the student to use his/her processing skills. The lesson will also demonstrate to the student how useful graphs are, and that graphs can summarize. < bb0 P> OBJECTIVE(s):

Students will be able to:

	1.  Define the following terms:
		  a.  bar graph
		  b.  line graph
		  c.  picture graph  
		  d.  pie graph
		  e.  vertical axis
		  f.  horizontal axis
	2.  Interpret data and make a graph from given data.


One sheet of poster board (18x24) with an X and Y axis; strips of different color construction paper 2"x 12"; scissors for each group.


  1. Students will placed into groups, cooperative learning, and each member will be assigned a particular role. (Leader, timekeeper, recorder, checker, encourager)

  2. Give the assignment to the class, the groups are to predict how many shoe eyelets are in the classroom without looking at the other students' shoes! I will tell the students that there are 12 eyelets in running shoes, and that hightops and boots will have approx. 24 eyelets (So a pair of hightops would have 48 eyelets). You will also need to remind the students that some shoes do not have any eyelets.

  3. Double check with the students to make sure they understand what the assignment is asking for.

  4. Ask the students to make an individual prediction as to how many eyelets they think are in the classroom. Then have the students discuss their predictions with their individual groups.

  5. Tell the groups that they may look at the shoes and count the eyelets of each member of "their group only".

  6. Give each group a strip of construction paper (colored). One inch on the strip will be equal to 100 eyelets. After the groups have gathered and discussed their data they will cut the strip to the length equal to their prediction.

  7. You will need a master graph, I used a sheet of poster board. A member of each group will bring their strip of paper up to the poster board and glue the strip to the board.


Ask each group to give you their count of how many eyelets there are in their own group. Total these figures to come up with the actual sum of eyelets in the classroom. Ask the groups what methods they used to come with their predictions, which method seemed to work the best.

May 1994

These lesson plans are the result of the work of the teachers who have attended the Columbia Education Center's Summer Workshop. CEC is a consortium of teacher from 14 western states dedicated to improving the quality of education in the rural, western, United States, and particularly the quality of math and science Education. CEC uses Big Sky Telegraph as the hub of their telecommunications network that allows the participating teachers to stay in contact with their trainers and peers that they have met at the Workshops.