Graph It

There is something clean and simple and wonderful about a graph.  Add humor, and you’ve got a great advisory activity.


  1. Have students work together in pairs to choose one of the graphs above and discuss what does this graph say and how it says it. You might encourage students to look at the title, the x and y axis or the segments from the bar graph or the categories on a pie graph.  What is being compared?  Is the picture a story over time? What do the amounts on the charts represent? Does it show amounts in relation to one another?
  2. As  a whole group, brainstorm some topics for a graph of your own. What experiences have you seen that would be fun to show in a graph.  How would you represent it – a pie chart? A line graph?  A Bar graph?  Why?  Choose one of these, brainstorm numbers and percentages and draw the graph.
  3. Allow students to think about a graph they might create. (Their top 5 procrastination techniques, Ways their parents respond to a request for money, snack foods in a week…etc). and have them each do one that represents what is important/funny to them.  Use good graphing techniques.



Thanks Kari for the idea!


Smells Like Teen Stats

Who doesn’t like data?  And what state doesn’t have a requirement to be able to read, analyze and defend use of data (as well as show it in some interesting way).  Well, after having a wonderful meal with my family on Thanksgiving, and seeing, at the same time, teens wandering the neighborhood, I began to wonder – do we eat together much anymore?  Luckily, someone with more time than me has looked into this, and here is a summary of what they learned:


  1. What are the variables on the chart? Why does it mean that that is what they are looking at?
  2. What conclusions do you draw from this chart? (State something that you think the chart says and then give reasons of how it is supported by the chart).
  3. How true is this to your own experience and the people that you know?  Does this graph reflect what you observe on a day to day basis?
  4. Look at the overview of the Family Meals Study. How well does this graph convey what the study meant to show?
  5. What trends have you observed that if you had the time and money you would like to study? (Have people discuss this in groups).  How might you create a study to gather the information on this topic?  What might the challenges be to getting reliable data?
  6. Choose another topic with data table or graph to interpret (there are some at the bottom if you can’t find one on your own).  Print out the table or chart and write down 2-3 conclusions you draw from the data along with a critique or concern about what is not shown in the study.