Notebook • Winter 2014
Creating Graphs to
Improve Visual and
To show students how they can create a graph (e.g., bar, pie, line) electronically.
Visual literacy is an increasingly important skill for adult learners. For example,
the new computer-based GED® exam debuting this year will include questions
that require students to plot points on a graph or grid electronically. The exam
will also include a greater emphasis on graphs across various content areas,
including social studies, science, and math.
The activity here shows how students can create a graph with the help of
an electronic resource. This resource is available on the National Center for
Educational Statistics’ website at
Although it appears in the Kids’ Zone section, it can easily be adjusted for adult
classroom needs. As students work through the various tabs in the activity, there
are definitions on the left to help explain the terms used.
This activity would work well with lessons related to visual literacy or a subject-
based lesson where students have to demonstrate data on a topic. The activity
below assumes students have some familiarity with what graphs are and the
different types of graphs used.
Here are more resources
that students can use to
learn about graphs.
Make Your Own Graphs
The Math Is Fun website features
create-your-own graph options
geared specifically toward math,
including equation grapher, func-
tion grapher, and more.
Create a Chart
This site explains how to create a
chart using Microsoft Office.
What’s in a Graph?
This lesson from the American
Association for the Advancement
of Science shows how to intro-
duce graphs to students.