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How can we help students to interpret data from tables?

Working in pairs, ask the students to make a list of statements, based on the data in the table. Then ask them to swap their statements with another pair and ask them to review them.

Ask the students to make up a set of questions based on only the data in the table. Again, ask the students to swap their questions and try and answer them using only the information in the table.

Now return to the data in the stimulus material and try some of these techniques.

How can we help students to interpret graphs?

Rather than presenting students with a graph and set of ready prepared questions, ask the students to work with a partner to devise three questions that could be answered using the information from the graph. Then ask them to swap their questions with another pair and try and answer their questions using only the information presented in the graph.

Matching graphs and statements. 

Living graphs – this is where students act out what the graph is saying.

Using the data, tell a story by describing what is happening at different segments of the graph.

Now try some of these techniques using the data in the graphs provided in the stimulus materials.

Are there any resources that will help students develop their data interpretation skills?

Further strategies and resources for interpreting data from tables and graphs may be accessed through the Learning Skills for Science Programme, skill area 4, Data Representation.

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