877-542-5504 877-542-5504

Using Charts and Graphs to Present Information Lesson Plan

Want to Help Fellow Teachers?

Please help us grow this free resource by submitting your favorite lesson plans.

Lesson Plan #: AELP-MPS0009
AUTHOR: NIE Curriculum Guide – The Montana Standard – Butte, MT.

Date: 1994

Grade Level(s): 4, 5, 6, 7, 8


  • Mathematics/Process Skills

OBJECTIVE: To use the newspaper to study charts and graphs

MATERIALS NEEDED: Newspapers, Worksheet O, paper, glue, scissors


Explain to the class some of the benefits of using charts and graphs: to help us visualize statistical information, to simplify complex sets of data, etc. As an example, read aloud test scores on a recent test (not by student name, but by class or school). Then graph the same information on the board. Which meant more to the students? Give them another example and ask volunteers to devise a related graph or chart.


Many different kinds of graphs and charts are found in the newspaper, on all sorts of subjects. Give examples of circle, bar and line graphs. Working alone or in pairs, have students to through newspaper for a few days to look for examples. They should clip the charts and graphs they find and paste them on paper. Interpret some of these in class. Also note, if applicable, how newspapers can combine illustrations with graphs to make them even more eye- catching.

Students should complete Worksheet O on their own. They are to identify and interpret selected graphs.

FOLLOW-UP: Give students real-life statistical information taken from the newspaper: sports scores, economic news, demographic information, etc. Students should create their own graphs and carts.


Directions: In the space below each graph, state whether it is a line graph, bar graph or circle graph.

1 Crude oil imports to the U.S. from the Middle East (in millions of barrels)

2 California students, by ethnic group, 1980

3 Oil prices, per barrel (in U.S. dollars)

Explain in writing what each graph illustrates.

Graph 1:



Graph 2:



Graph 3