Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Creating Graphs from Tables

Rhonda Bray


I don't care what other people think! Or do you? Statistical data recorded in a table is interpreted and displayed in an appropriate graph format demonstrating how opinion polls and other types of data can be easily read and interpreted.


Interprets data that has been collected, organized, and displayed in charts, tables, plots.


-Overhead projector and markers
-Transparencies of table and corresponding graph examples (see associated file)
-List of graph criteria; one per student (See associated file)
-Completed table for students to interpret; one per student (See associated file)
-Rulers, one per student
-Graph paper, one sheet per student


1. Prepare transparencies of blank table, examples of tables and corresponding graphs, criteria checklist, and the table to be used for independent practice. (See Associated File.)
2. Have overhead marking pens available.
3. Print teacher copy of questions for examples.
4. Have student copies of the checklist of specific criteria and the table to be used for independent practice.
5. Have rulers and graph paper for each student.


Note: This lesson addresses interpreting data displayed only in tables.

1. Ask students to answer the following questions with a show of hands. Would you prefer to begin the school day at 7:00 a.m. or 8:00 a.m.? Record the responses using tally marks on a blank table. Would you prefer to begin the school year before Labor Day or after Labor Day? Record the responses using tally marks on a table. (See associated file.)

2. Explain to the students that this is how opinions are recorded and then become data used in a wide variety of ways. Many times data can be used to make decisions that can directly impact our lives.

3. Inform students that today we are going to interpret data that has been collected, organized, and displayed in a table and then they will create a graph that illustrates the same data.

4. Pass out the criteria checklist. (See associated file.) Refer to this checklist throughout the presentation of both examples 1 and 2.

5. Direct their attention to the first example of a table. (Use associated file for steps 5-9.)

6. Have them read the title and subtitles. Ask someone to summarize what the information in the table is about based only on this information.

7. Direct their attention to the corresponding graph.

8. Have someone name all the similarities between the table and the construction of the graph. (The title is the same for both. The subtitles are used to label the x and y axis of the graph.)

9. Question the students further regarding the construction of the graph.

10. Question the students now regarding the actual data on the graph.

11. Repeat steps 5-10 as the students look at the second example. (See associated file.)

12. Tell students they will now create their own graph illustrating data they will interpret from a prepared table. (See associated file.)

13. Hand out a copy of that table to each student, along with a ruler and a piece of graph paper.

14. Go over the list of criteria that will be used to evaluate their graphs.

15. Walk around the room observing and guiding students as they create their graph.

16. Evaluate graphs.


Note: This lesson assesses interpreting data displayed only in tables.

Students create a graph.

1. Select the best graph form to record data presented in a table from two choices, line or bar graph.
2. Title the graph.
3. Label the x and y axis.
4. Use correct increments for the numeric axis.
5. Interpret and plot data on the graph accurately using a straight edge and graph paper.

Assessment Tool: List of specific criteria. (See associated file.)


Students work in groups to collect data and create their own tables and graphs. For example: Conduct a poll of random students to answer a question. What is your favorite brand of athletic shoe? What is your favorite college football team? Create a table and a bar graph from the data collected. Students work individually to create a table and a line graph from data that they locate on the Internet depicting change over time (for example, data collected for an individual athlete or athletic team over a period of time).

Attached Files

Table.     File Extension: pdf

Line Graph.     File Extension: pdf

Independent Practice.     File Extension: pdf

Criteria Checklist.     File Extension: pdf

Bar Graph.     File Extension: pdf

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