NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1016787
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8555
Beyond Slopes and Points: Teaching Students How Graphs Describe the Relationships between Scientific Pheomena
Harris, David; Gomez Zwiep, Susan
Science Teacher, v80 n3 p43-47 Mar 2013
Graphs represent complex information. They show relationships and help students see patterns and compare data. Students often do not appreciate the illuminating power of graphs, interpreting them literally rather than as symbolic representations (Leinhardt, Zaslavsky, and Stein 1990). Students often read graphs point by point instead of seeing properties defined for the entire graph (Herscovics 1989). Such difficulties may arise because graphs are often taught in a math context with no tangible data attached and in a science context simultaneously with new and abstract concepts. This article presents an easily replicated lesson that looks at how graphs describe and compare relationships within a familiar task: sorting shapes. The lesson follows the sequence "engage, explore 1, explain 1, explore 2, explain 2, extend."
National Science Teachers Association. 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Tel: 800-722-6782; Fax: 703-243-3924; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A