Free Extract: Tell a story about a chart


Terry Sharrock‘s new book ‘Embedding English and Maths‘ is split into two main parts.

The first part is all about the theory, it includes discussion, contemplation and different approaches.

Part two is all about putting those words into action- it is filled with practical activities to ensure that you are given all the necessary tools to effectively embed vital maths and English skills into your lesson.

So here is an extract from the “interactive” section of the book.

Activity 4: Tell a story about a chart

How to use this idea

This is a good way to introduce the idea of a graph or chart as a means of communicating information. You could use this in any topic area which involves an understanding of graphs and charts. This is an individual activity.

Understanding the activity

Print out a copy of the chart for each student. Explain that you are going to ask them to tell a story using this chart. They can complete the chart with any information they wish. It is a good idea to complete one yourself as an example. If you make your example quite light-hearted it will encourage them to do the same. Ask them to fill in the chart completely with everything except the title. Have coloured pens or pencils available and encourage learners to use them.

When they have completed the chart, they should swap with another person and see if each of them can understand what the other’s chart is showing. Encourage them to ask questions about the charts. Why is there a dip/reduction between columns 1 and 3 and what could this mean? What is the over­all trend of the chart? They can swap with as many people as time allows. You can encourage them to get out of their seats and go around the room swapping charts.

Skills practice

This is an opportunity to practise the following skills:

understanding the purpose of graphs and charts;

understanding the importance of a good title (how difficult was it to understand the graph without a title?);

understanding terms used in graphs such as scales, legends, x and y axes;

practising labelling the x axis and the import­ance of correct scaling on the y axis;

practising asking questions about a graph;

interpreting a graph and extracting data.

Developing employability skills

This is an opportunity for students to understand how charts can be used to convey information con­cisely and the importance of considering your audi­ence when creating any form of communication.

Extension activities

Ask learners to create their own charts and extend this to different types of charts and graphs such as pie charts and line graphs.

So next time you’re in a classroom, why not try this  with your learners? Contact us on Twitter or Facebook to share your experiences!

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