Students often struggle with deciding which type of graph is the best choice for different types of data. In this 5e Explore activity students work collaboratively to complete a card sort. Students are challenged to figure out the image of a graph, description of when it is best to use that graph style, data in tables, and research questions that best work for different types of Graphs: Line Graph, Bar Graph, Pie Chart, or Scatter Plot.
This card sort can also be used as an formative assessment for a 5e Evaluate activity based on how much coaching is provided by the teacher and the questions asked by the teacher.
USING the Card Sort
I print out the decks(pages 3-7) on to card stock for more durability and make one set per group of 3-5 students.
There are three versions available: color graphs, black and while graphs (swap out page 4 for page 10) and an extra small “ink and paper saver” size (3 pages instead of 5 pages).
I did include an alternative category title of X-Y Plot that can be switched out for the Scatter Plot in addition to 2 blank cards for you to customize the sort if desired (on page 14)
Modifications for lower students
Option A: Students can be given a deck with only three categories (Scatter Plot, Bar Graph and Pie Chart) to sort, They can be given fewer questions and data tables to sort into these categories.
Option B: Print out the extra small cards on pages 11 and 12 for students to cut, sort, and glue onto large construction paper
Modifications for higher students
Option A: Have students brainstorm additional questions that would generate data for each of the four types of graphs. I have included cards on page 14 to add into the sort or you could ask students to put the questions onto post-it notes.
Cover, TOU (2 pages)
Teacher Notes (1 page)
Graph Types Card Sort (10 Pages total)
- Regular version with color graphs (30 cards on 5 pages total)
- Black and White graphs (1 page)
- Mini-cards (30 cards on 3 pages total)
- Extension Cards for higher students and 2 blank cards (1 page)
Answer Key provided (2 pages)
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