Minds On

Types of graphs

There are many types of graphs available for representing data. Explore and analyze the following examples of a broken line graph and a circle graph.

Broken line graph

Analyzing the broken line graph

Throughout this learning activity, you can record your ideas digitally, orally, or in print. Record your responses to these questions:

  • What month has the highest average temperature?
  • What is the lowest average temperature?
  • In which months are the average low temperatures below 10º Celsius?
  • Share your thoughts regarding the following statement: “Summers in this city are usually very cold with temperatures well below 0.” (Use data from the graph to justify your response.)

Circle graph

Analyzing the circle graph

Use the method of your choice to record your answers:

  • Based on this data, which genre is the favourite?
  • Which two genres have the fewest votes?
  • Record your thoughts regarding the following statement: “About half of the students in Grade 7 prefer animated and action films.” (Use data from the graph to justify your response.)

Action

Choosing the most appropriate graph

It’s important to choose a graph that’s suited to the data. Press the following tabs to learn the definitions of three diverse graphs.

A circle graph represents a whole divided into sections that represent the data in the form of percentages of that whole.

A histogram is similar to a bar graph in that the data is represented in columns plotted on a graph in specific intervals. With a histogram, there are no spaces between bars.

A broken line graph represents data as trends over time in the form of a line segment.

Activity

Examine following tabs to access three data tables.

For each table, decide which would be most appropriate: a circle graph, a histogram, or a broken-line graph. Be ready to justify your choice!

Rainfall over a 7-day period

Monday

12 mm

Tuesday

2 mm

Wednesday

0 mm

Thursday

15 mm

Friday

25 mm

Saturday

0 mm

Sunday

9 mm

Number of flowers planted by gardeners in May

Number of flowers

Frequency

0-60

10

61-120

20

121-180

31

181-240

18

241-300

8

301-360

2

Average time spent on classroom activities (in minutes)

Lunch

50 minutes

Language

75 minutes

Math

75 minutes

Arts or Physical Education

40 minutes

Recess

40 minutes

Morning/End of Day routines

30 minutes

Science or Social Studies

50 minutes

Total

6 hours (360 minutes)

Complete Which Graph Works Best? using the following fillable organizer or using another method of your choice.

Which graph works best?
Data set 1: Rainfall over a 7-day period

Which graph is most suitable for this data set? (check one)

Justify and explain your choice.

Data set 2: Number of flowers planted by gardeners in May

Justify and explain your choice.

Data set 3: Average time spent on classroom activities

Justify and explain your choice.

Press the ‘Activity’ button to access Which Graph Works Best?

How did you do?

Press ‘Suggested answers’ to access which graph works best for which data.

  • Data set 1 would be best displayed as a broken-line graph because the data is measured. It is showing changes over time (a 7-day period).
  • Data Set 2 would be best displayed on a histogram because it shows frequency. There are already intervals, which would help with creating a histogram.
  • Data Set 3 would be best displayed on a circle graph because the data represents parts of a whole (activities that make up a full school day).

Consolidation

Create a graph

Choose one of three data sets from the Action section, and create the appropriate graph.

Rainfall over a 7-day period

Monday

12 mm

Tuesday

2 mm

Wednesday

0 mm

Thursday

15 mm

Friday

25 mm

Saturday

0 mm

Sunday

9 mm

Number of flowers planted by gardeners in May

Number of flowers

Frequency

0-60

10

61-120

20

121-180

31

181-240

18

241-300

8

301-360

2

Average time spent on classroom activities (in minutes)

Lunch

50 minutes

Language

75 minutes

Math

75 minutes

Arts or Physical Education

40 minutes

Recess

40 minutes

Morning/End of Day routines

30 minutes

Science or Social Studies

50 minutes

Total

6 hours (360 minutes)

Create the graph using a method of your choice or record a detailed description about how you would represent the data.

Remember to include a title, labels, and an appropriate scale.

If you would like, you can use TVO Mathify to plan out your graph. You can also use your notebook or the following fillable organizer.

Press the ‘TVO Mathify' button to access this interactive whiteboard and the ‘Activity’ button for your note-taking document. You will need a TVO Mathify login to access this resource.

TVO Mathify (Opens in new window) Activity (Open PDF in a new window)

Reflecting on graphs

Respond to the following prompts:

  • Why are some graphs more appropriate for certain data sets?
  • Why is it important to include conventions (title, source, labels, and scales)?
  • Which graph do you enjoy using, and why?
  • Which graph would you like to explore further, and why?

Reflection

As you read the following descriptions, select the one that best describes your current understanding of the learning in this activity. Press the corresponding button once you have made your choice.

I feel…

Now, expand on your ideas by recording your thoughts using a voice recorder, speech-to-text, or writing tool.

When you review your notes on this learning activity later, reflect on whether you would select a different description based on your further review of the material in this learning activity.

Connect with a TVO Mathify tutor

Think of TVO Mathify as your own personalized math coach, here to support your learning at home. Press ‘TVO Mathify’ to connect with an Ontario Certified Teacher math tutor of your choice. You will need a TVO Mathify login to access this resource.

TVO Mathify (Opens in new window)