This couple examples: pie graphs and line

This video describes how to create a line graph and explains the four main parts that graphs need to contain: 1. previously collected data, 2. picture representations, 3.

use of the correct graph type, and 4. labels. This lesson also covers dependent and independent variables.

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What Are Graphs and How do I Make Them?

You can make wallets with it, fix cars, and even make old cardboard boxes new again. Astronauts fixed the lunar dune buggy with it, and NASA sends some on every space mission they run, especially after fixing an air filter on the Apollo 13 mission. It’s been used as a quick fix on oil wells and was used to keep World War II ammunition boxes dry. Some EMT handbooks describe ways to close up a chest wound with it.

This item can be used to remove warts and could keep your windows from shattering in a storm. It’s been said that if you can’t fix it with this, you just aren’t using enough. I’m, of course, talking about that silvery shape shifter – duct tape.

Duct tape has so many uses; don’t you wish that everything was like that? I’m going to let you in on a little secret. There is something you might be using right now that has just as many uses. You use them at school, your parents use them at work, you find them online, and even that little picture telling you how much battery life you have left is one of these – they’re graphs! Just like duct tape, graphs have thousands of uses! They can sway peoples’ minds, be used to display parts of something bigger, and even show how something like temperature changes over the day. Can your fancy schmancy duct tape do that? I didn’t think so.So, what are graphs, and why do we use them? A graph is just a different way to look at data. Some people like reading charts, some like reading about numbers in a paragraph, others like looking at a picture representation, and that’s where graphs come in.

Graphs are a picture representation of numbers or data. It’s as simple as that, but there are four main things about graphs that you need to remember before you can successfully make one.First, don’t start before you collect all your data. Second, graphs need to show data as a picture. Third, there’s many types of graphs – each suited for a specific need.

Using the proper graph to display data is crucial. Last, graphs need to have labels and titles that inform the reader. To help remember these four ideas, think of this mnemonic device: Don’t Pick This Lemon.

It’s an acronym that you can help associate with the four ideas.Look, the ‘D’ in ‘Don’t’ is just like don’t start without your data. The ‘P’ in ‘Pick’ is for pictures – we’re making pictures out of data. The ‘T’ in ‘This’ stands for this graph type or that type – there’s always a specific one to use. Finally, the ‘L’ in ‘Lemons’ is so you don’t leave a sour face on anyone trying to figure out what your information is about on your graph. Remember, Don’t Pick This Lemon! Let’s look at these four ideas in more detail with some examples.

Pie Graphs

As you already know, there’s quite a variety of different graphs out there. You see them everywhere, but what’s a person to do? There’s so many graph types! There’s pie graphs, box and whisker plots, bar graphs, stem and leaf plots, and line graphs. Not to mention Venn diagrams, word clouds, donut charts, info graphics, histograms, area charts… this list could go on for quite awhile.

Clear that jumbled pile out and let’s focus on just a couple examples: pie graphs and line graphs. Remember, we’re just looking for a new way to represent data as a picture. For example, you’ve probably seen something like this before; it’s called a pie or a circle graph:

Pie or circle graph
Data for making a line graph
Data points plotted on graph
Line graph
example line graph

Lesson Review

See, graphs are not as scary as some people think. Graphs are simply a way that we represent data with a picture. There were two types of graphs that we looked at today: pie graphs, or circle graphs, which show parts of a whole; and line graphs, which are useful for showing a change or trend in data.

You also need to remember the four main things that graphs have: Don’t Pick This Lemon! First, every graph needs data, and it needs to be collected before you start graphing. Next, graphs make a picture to represent numbers or data. Third, like duct tape, graphs have many functions, and there’s a specific function for every need (this graph over that one). Finally, every graph needs a set of labels and a title so everyone who sees it can make sense of the information presented and has no sour lemony faces.

Learning Outcomes

Following this video lesson, you will be able to:

  • Explain how to make pie graphs and line graphs and the purpose of each
  • Describe the four main things that graphs have
  • Identify a mnemonic to remember these four things
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