ERIC Number: ED194441
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Graphing: A Stimulating Way to Process Data. How to Do It Series, Series 2, No. 10.
Hawkins, Michael L.
This paper is concerned with helping elementary and junior high school students interpret and construct graphs. Four types of graphs are emphasized--bar, picture, line, and circle or area. The hypothesis is that students in elementary and intermediate grades are generally insufficiently prepared to use graphs effectively, although they are expected to use them as data sources on a regular basis, particularly in social studies classes. This hypothesis is based on a review of literature on uses of graphs with school age children and on an analysis of three social studies textbook series (18 books). This analysis revealed that 124 graphs were presented with very little background information on graphing knowledge and/or skills. To help social studies classroom teachers overcome this deficiency, information is presented for the four types of graphs on uses, construction, evaluation, type of graph paper, derivation of the data used in the sample graphs, follow-up activities, and interpretation. Teaching strategies are also suggested, including types of questions teachers should ask to guide students through the process of analyzing a graph (open, focus, interpretive, and capstone). Examples of questions are (1) "What is the graph about?" (open question), (2) "What do the numbers arranged along the vertical axis mean?" (focus question), (3) "What happened at a specific date to produce a given effect?" (interpretive question), and (4) "What conclusions can be drawn from this data?" (capstone question). A special note on guarding against bias concludes the paper. (DB)
Descriptors: Data Analysis, Educational Objectives, Elementary Secondary Education, Graphs, Junior High School Students, Skill Development, Social Studies, Teaching Guides, Teaching Methods, Visual Aids
National Council for the Social Studies, 3615 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20016 ($1.00 per copy, quantity discounts available). Parts may be marginally legible.
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Council for the Social Studies, Washington, DC.