Making Decisions with Data Lesson 1: Unlabelled Graphs

Australian curriculum number (ACMSP120)

Lesson abstract

Students are presented with column graphs that are unlabelled. They have no scale, no title and no labels. They use the unlabelled graphs to construct their own stories to interpret the information in the graphs. This highlights the importance of context for understanding data.

Mathematical purpose (for students)

To make sense of the story told by a graph. 

Mathematical purpose (for teachers)

The unlabelled graphs highlight the need for graphs to be appropriately associated with titles, labelled axes, legends and keys, and numerical scales, in order to convey a message to readers.

At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Use data presented in a graph to tell a story.
  • Make mathematical statements about data presented in graphs.
  • Identify the essential features of a graph.