Developing Stories: Understanding Graphs
Erling, E. (Elizabeth) ; Ashmore, K. (Kim) ; Kapur, K. (Kirti) (2016)
Graphs represent information. Much information nowadays is presented in graphs and they are used by all kinds of people, in all sorts of contexts. Knowing how to interpret graphs is important to make sense of the world around us and it has also become a crucial skill to have in the workplace. People can find reading and interpreting graphs difficult because they can be confusing and misleading. This unit aims to help you to support your students in acquiring the skills of interpreting and constructing graphs to prepare them better for life. It does not focus on the basics of graphs, such as constructing coordinates, plotting points precisely or using equations and formulae to find out the gradient or points of inflection. Instead, the unit aims to help you make working with graphs more accessible to your students by developing a narrative or story to assist them with their understanding of graphs. Underpinning this approach is the notion that ‘every graph tells a story’. In this unit you will learn how to help students interpret graphs more effectively, ideas to guide students in using narrative or storytelling as a tool for understanding graphs and mathematics more generally, and how to assist students in making connections between graphs and the real world.