This lesson teaches students the importance of using the appropriate
scale when constructing a bar graph. In Cyberchase Episode #210,
"Raising the Bar," the Cyberkids discover bugs in the
cybrary and report this to Ms. Fileshare. The exterminator with
the contract to rid the cybrary of the unwanted vermin manages to
manipulate the bar graph to give the impression of having done a
good job. The Cyberkids know this isn't the case but have to prove
their point by "showing," not "telling" the
numbers in the form of a bar graph. They make a fundamental mistake
the first time around, so that Ms. Fileshare is not convinced. Through
some clever detective work, problem solving skills, and clues from
a "Squeaky Voice," the kids demonstrate how scale is needed
to construct a bar graph that can prove their accusations against
their rival, Hacker. In Cyberchase for Real, Harry and Bianca are
given jobs selling refreshments in a movie theater. The one who
sells the most candy can become "Employee of the Month"
and win free movie passes. Harry and Bianca each make a graph to
show how well they have done selling refreshments. The scales of
the bar graphs are different, so the bars on Harry's graph appear
taller than Bianca's. The results are puzzling because they have
both sold the same amount. Segments of this episode, interaction
on the Cyberchase Web site, and activities requiring the use of
data in the construction of a bar graph to make a convincing argument
will provide children with an understanding of how bar graphs can
be used to compare values of different things quickly and easily.
Students will be able to:
 Create a bar graph that quickly communicates an amount without
the need to know exact data;
 Compare the values in different categories easily and ataglance
using bar graphs;
 Determine the best scale to use on a graph so that the data
is clearly communicated;
 Use bar graphs to persuade others;
 Compare and interpret the heights of bars on bar graphs that
have the same scale quickly.
From the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics grades K12,
available online at:
http://www.nctm.org/standards/standards.htm
Representation Grades PreK 12
 Create and use representations to organize, record, and communicate
mathematical ideas;
 Select, apply, and translate among mathematical representations
to solve problems;
 Use representations to model and interpret physical, social,
and mathematical phenomena.
Video:
Cyberchase Episode #210: Raising the Bar
Web sites:
Cyberchase: Bugs in the System
http://pbskids.org/cyberchase/games/bargraphs/bargraphs.html
The Cybrary is infested, and children need to remove the bugs.
The challenge is to use the bar graph scaler to successfully change
the scale in order to accomplish the required tasks. Speed, skill,
and a firm grasp of the scaling concept are needed to advance.
Create Your Own Bar Graph
http://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/graphing/bar.asp
This site enables students to create and print their own bar graphs
online.
Scholastic Bar Graph Comparing Favorite Sports Watched
http://teacher.scholastic.com/kidusasu/favsport/resfsw.htm
This bar graph from scholastic.com examines students' favorite
sports to watch.
Scholastic Bar Graph Comparing Favorite Sports in which
Students Compete
http://teacher.scholastic.com/kidusasu/favsport/resfsc.htm
This bar graph from scholastic.com examines students' favorite
sports in which to participate.
Scholastic Bar Graph Comparing Favorite School Uniform
Colors
http://teacher.scholastic.com/kidusasu/uniforms/chart3.htm
This bar graph from scholastic.com examines students' favorite
colors for school uniforms.
For the class:
For each student:
 Pen or pencil
 Graph paper
 Colored markers
 Lined paper to write down data to be used in the bar graph
