# Graph Literacy

Graph literacy is the ability to identify important features of graphs and relate those features to the context of the graphs—in other words, to increase students' understanding of the meaning of graphs. Graph literacy is emphasized in both the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and the Next Generation Science Standards.

The Graph Literacy project developed activities using SmartGraphs technology to specifically improve graph comprehension in grade 7 and 8 science students.

## Activities

**1.2 Equivalent Graphs**

Students investigate graphs that are equivalent, in the sense that they represent the same data, though they look different because they employ different scales. (Addresses Graph Literacy Objective 1.2: Understand how zooming, panning, stretching, and shrinking do not change the data within a graph.)

» A Lesson Plan is also available.**1.3 Interpolation**

Students explore experimental data of cricket chirping rate to find linear trends on graphs. They use this trend to interpolate values and then find the corresponding linear equations. (Addresses Graph Literacy Objective 1.3: Interpolate between points on a graph.)

» A Lesson Plan is also available.**1.4 Independent and Dependent Variables**

For various scenarios students select which of two variables should be considered independent and which dependent, and to explain their choice. (Addresses Graph Literacy Objective 1.4: Determine the dependent and independent variables for display on a graph.)

» A Lesson Plan is also available.**2.1 Graphs Tell a Story**

Students match a word story to the correct set of graphs involving temperature change over time. (Addresses Graph Literacy Objective 2.1: Identify the overall shape and direction of a line graph, and connect the shape with the real-world meaning.)

» A Lesson Plan is also available.**2.2 Hurricane Katrina**

Students are given graphs relating to Katrina, the hurricane that devastated New Orleans and much of the gulf coast in 2005, and are asked to identify various events, such as the moment when the hurricane made its closest approach to New Orleans. (Addresses Graph Literacy Objective 2.2: Identify the maxima and minima of a graph and interpret their meaning.)

» A Lesson Plan is also available.**2.3 Growing Up**

This activity asks students to interpret the slope of sections of a line graph of the height of U.S. girls and boys from ages two to twenty. (Addresses Graph Literacy Objective 2.3: Estimate the slope of a line and describe its real-world meaning.)

» A Lesson Plan is also available.**4.1 Population Curve: Significance of Breakpoints**

The logistic curve, or S-curve, is important in understanding how populations change over time. It's a complex curve that can be analyzed with a linear fit to help identify the breakpoints where changes of growth rate occur. This activity brings together many graph interpretation skills, and puts them to use to design and analyze a population experiment using the ubiquitous aquatic plant, duckweed.

» A Lesson Plan is also available.