December 27th, 2021

Elementary School Resource: Interactive Graphing

Elementary School Resource

Interactive Graphing

In this activity, students will interpret and analyze data from a student-generated graph.


  • Students engage in yearlong graphing activities that promote ongoing mathematics and science skill development, as well as career awareness.
  • Teacher introduces, or reinforces graphs, discussion includes types of graphical representation, how graphs are created and used, and the interpretation of graphs.
  • Teacher designates an area of the classroom where graphing activities will occur throughout the year. There should be places to post graphing questions, for students to work on the question (if appropriate), and for students to leave their answers.
  • Teacher posts a graph title and specific questions regarding each graph for students to solve. Students interpret data by answering teacher-generated questions (e.g., finding differences, range, average) depending on age/grade level.
  • Teacher should find ways to include graphing in various classroom activities in all subject areas (e.g., growth of a plant, number of students with a certain hair color, number of books read) so that this becomes an ongoing focus in the classroom.
  • Teacher develops some questions regarding real examples of graphs found outside the school environment (e.g., newspapers, cereal boxes, travel brochures).
  • Teacher designs some questions regarding real-life data (e.g., using a bus schedule, students could graph the number of times that buses stop at designated areas during a certain time period). This begins to give students experience in dealing with and interpreting graphs and data in the real world.
  • It is important that the teacher changes the graphing activity regularly and includes a variety of topics.
  • Parents or business representatives are invited to the classroom to discuss how data is used and presented in their jobs/careers.
  • Older students use a spreadsheet and desktop publishing software to publish graphs (e.g., brochures, posters, advertisements) they create for certain projects.

Related NY State Academic Standards: 1.MD.4, 2.MD.10, 3.MD.3, and more!

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