Lesson 2-02 Graphing

Opened 9/25-complete by 9/29 


LESSON 2.02 - Graphing

Standard:  IE1.a




In this lesson you will learn how scientists use graphs to interpret and share data.



1.    Graphs and charts are great because they communicate information visually. For this reason, graphs are often used in newspapers, magazines and businesses around the world.  Sometimes, complicated information is difficult to understand and needs an illustration. Other times, a graph or chart helps impress people by getting your point across quickly and visually.



2.    There are all kinds of charts and graphs; some are easy to understand while others can be pretty tricky. There are many different types because each one has a fairly specific use. Bar graphs can be used to show how something changes over time or to compare items. They have an x-axis (horizontal) and a y-axis (vertical). Typically, the x-axis has numbers for the time period or what is being measured, and the y-axis has numbers for the amount of stuff being measured. Bar graphs are good when you're plotting data that spans many years or when you are comparing things.



3.    To create a BAR GRAPH, you must supply a value for (each) bar. It is also a good idea to provide: a name for each bar, title of graph (60 characters maximum), and title of x and y axis.



4.    Use this link (http://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/createagraph/default.aspx) to make a graph out of the data given below.  It will be useful to print these instructions OR open a new window and copy the link into the address bar.



5.    Click on “Bar” graph and chose the options you’d like.  "Update" will save your choices.



6.    Click on the “Data” tab on the right side of the window.



7.    Fill in the top 4 boxes with:

a.    Graph Title:  Home Energy Use

b.    X Axis Label:  Type of Energy Use

c.    Y Axis Label:  Percentage

d.    Source:  Your Name



8.    Change “Data Set” to “Items 4”.  "Groups" can remain as 1.



9.    Then type the data from the table below into the boxes.



Data Table 1: Home Energy Use

item label


Heating and Cooling


Water Heating




Light Cooking and Other



10. Type in “0” for Min-value and “50” for Max-value.


11.  The "Preview" tab allows you to see the graph generated.  Use the "Design" and "Labels" tabs to play with the various options until you have what you feel is the clearest possible graph. 


12. Save your file as 2.02-yourlastname.doc


13. Turn in your final graph to the class drop-box.




Take the 2.02-Quiz