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ZingPath: Plots and Charts

Find the Appropriate Graph

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Plots and Charts

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Find the Appropriate Graph


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You will determine the appropriate graphical display (bar graph, line graph, and/or pie chart) for a given set of data and contextual situations.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Determine the appropriate graphical display (bar graph, line graph, and/or pie chart) for a given set of data and contextual situations.
  • Answer questions from graphical representations of data.

Everything You'll Have Covered

This Activity Object focuses on three types of graphs (bar graphs, line graphs, and pie charts), which are outlined on the following pages.

Bar Graphs

This graph uses bars to show quantities so they can easily be compared.

There are two axes in a bar graph, x and y. The x-axis displays qualitative data and the y-axis displays quantitative data. A bar graph can be displayed vertically or horizontally. In a vertical bar graph, like the one shown above, the height of the bars represents the frequency of occurrences for the qualitative data. Bar graphs can be used with data that spans many years (or days, or weeks, etc.), has really big changes from year to year (or day to day, etc.), or when you are comparing things. Bar graphs clearly show trends in data.

Line Graphs

This graph compares two variables.

Each variable is plotted along an axis. Like a bar graph, a line graph has a vertical axis and a horizontal axis. For example, if you wanted to graph the height of a ball after you have thrown it, you could put the time along the horizontal, or x-axis, and height along the vertical, or y-axis. Line graphs show trends in data over time. In the graph shown above, it is evident that the height of the Taipei 101 had the greatest increase between 2001 and 2002.

Pie Chart

This graph is very different from the other two types of graphs in this Activity Object. Pie charts compare percentages.

The circle of a pie graph represents 100%. Each portion that takes up space within the circle stands for a part of that 100% and is displayed using a different color to help differentiate the portions. In this way, it is possible to see how something is divided among different groups.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 20 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts Students should know how to use statistical data in a bar graph, line graph, and pie chart.
Course Algebra-1
Type of Tutorial Skills Application
Key Vocabulary bar graph, line graph, pie chart