Adult Ed

Analyze This

Overview | Activities

Overview:  One of the most important critical thinking skills people have is the ability to analyze a variety of images and symbols that appear alongside everyday words and text. By everyday words and text, we mean text found in newspaper columns, business reports, bank statements, and utility bills. These examples often use graphic images like charts, graphs, tables, and pictures to supplement the text to help the reader's understanding of it. This lesson engages learners in the analysis of various types of graphs common in daily life. It can be used as a stand-alone lesson, substitute lesson plan or self-directed study in preparation for the GED.

Grade level: Pre-GED/GED
Subject matter: Math

Learning objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • interpret various data presented in graphical form.
  • develop graphs from various types of data.


New York State Education Department – Elementary, Middle, Secondary and Continuing Education
Standard 3 – Mathematics - Elementary

  • Students use mathematical modeling/multiple representation to provide a means of presenting, interpreting, communicating and connecting mathematical information and relationships.

Media Components

Maps & Globes: Using Graphs
This 15-minute video clip is available through Thirteen/WNET's Video on Demand service, which is located on Thirteen's Ed Online Web site; registration is required to access videos. All New York State educators and students are granted free access to the Video-on-Demand service. For more information about obtaining a username and password, please contact Through studying the four different graphs that are discussed and illustrated in this video, students will learn to appreciate how graphs communicate information in visual and easy to understand ways. A video quiz is presented at the end of this video to test understanding; students can respond orally in class or on worksheets available on the Web site:

Revise Wise Math (Shockwave plug-in required)
Use this Web site to review skills necessary to analyze data using a fun and entertaining animation. At the end of the animation, learners are able to complete a short assessment to evaluate their ability to understand data presented graphically. Learners will also gain valuable practice using computer generated testing and teachers will be able to gauge how well students are able to use the technology. The Interpreting Data Worksheet, "On Yer Bike," can be printed and handed out for review and practice in converting tables to graphs.

Create a graph
The National Center for Education Statistics Web site allows students to construct a variety of different graphs. Teachers can provide source data or allow the students to generate their own data through experimentation. Once data has been collected, students can save to a disk, print out their results, email their graphs or store their information online for up to 30 days.


Maps and Globes: Using Graphs Video from Video on Demand
Using Graphs, Blackline Master, #1-10 [.pdf]
Piece of the Pie [.doc]

Taking Stock [.doc]
Sample Data [.doc]
Separate sheets of paper for notes
Protractors (optional)

Prep for Teachers

  • Download the "Maps and Globes: Using Graphs" video from Thirteen/WNET's Video-on-Demand service (registration required). Educators and families throughout New York State are granted free access to the Video on Demand service.  For more information about obtaining a username and password, please contact
  • Load necessary plug-ins: Windows Media Player, Flash, Acrobat Reader.
Make copies of necessary handouts (Note: If your school or classroom is not equipped to handle multimedia, the video script and graphics may be downloaded and printed as handouts.)