Take a guess!

This might sound like a strange first direction for a math course, but let’s see where it leads.

A medium coffee size jar will full of jellybeans
A pair of dice, one showing 6 on one side and three on other side, 5 on another side. Second dice shoes 5 on one side, 4 on other side, and 6 on another side.

Estimate how many jelly beans are in the jar?

Estimate how many ways you can throw these dice to equal seven?

Think

How might you estimate your monthly income, when your income changes every month?

Your Monthly Income
Month Income
April $800
May $1105
June $900
July $1000

When you don’t know all the information, you sometimes have to rely on estimates based on what you do know. Continue in this learning activity to learn how to make better estimates using graphs.

Estimation

Estimates can be used to get an approximate (or close) value without having to use a calculator. For example, if your hourly wage is $11.07 and you want to know how much you’ll earn if you work 10 hours, you can estimate the answer. The amount $11.07 is very close to $11.00. To find the approximate amount you would earn, multiply $11.00 by 10 hours:

11 × 10 = 110

If you work 10 hours at $11.07 per hour, you’d earn about $110.00.

Estimates are often used by businesses. If you’re going to have the windows replaced in your house, you want an idea of what it will cost before the work begins. The window company will look at the number and type of windows that need to be replaced. They’ll estimate how much time it will take to do the work and then give you an estimate of the total cost. The final bill won’t be exactly the same as the estimate, but it should be close.

Estimates are also used for reading graphs.

Estimation Using a Graph

Graphs are designed to display trends and to give a general picture of a situation. They are not intended to give exact information. To read both column and line graphs you’ll need to learn how to estimate. When you read a graph, you get an approximate value. To get the exact value, you need to read the original data. The following scenario will help you learn to estimate using a graph.

Sean's income

Sean has been working for four months. He doesn’t work the same number of hours each month, so his monthly income changes. Sean recorded his monthly income for each month in a table. He created a graph to compare the income for each month to help him make a monthly budget.

Look at the following table and graph:

Sean’s Monthly Income
Month Income
April $800
May $1105
June $900
July $1000
Bar graph of Sean’s monthly income for the months April, May June and July. The amounts are $800 for April; $1105 for May ; $900 for June and $1000 for July.

Select the tabs to review how to read a graph.

The line across the bottom of the graph is the horizontal axis.

Bar graph of Sean’s monthly income for the months April, May June and July. The amounts are $800 for April; $1105 for May ; $900 for June and $1000 for July.  There is a bolded line on the horizontal axis and arrow pointing to it.

The line going up and down on the left of the graph is the vertical axis. The numbers on the vertical axis indicate the scale and allow you to estimate the amount of the monthly income.

Bar graph of Sean’s monthly income for the months April, May June and July. The amounts are $800 for April; $1105 for May ; $900 for June and $1000 for July.  There is a bolded line on the vertical axis and an arrow pointing to it.

Each axis has a label to indicate what the categories and numbers represent.

Bar graph of Sean’s monthly income for the months April, May June and July. The amounts are $800 for April; $1105 for May ; $900 for June and $1000 for July.  There is an arrow pointing to the label Income($) on the vertical axis.  There is an arrow pointing to the label Months on the horizontal axis.

The horizontal lines on the graph are guidelines to help you estimate the monthly income.

Bar graph of Sean’s monthly income for the months April, May June and July. The amounts are $800 for April; $1105 for May ; $900 for June and $1000 for July.  There are a series of arrows pointing to the horizontal lines that represent the amounts on the vertical axis.

Notice that the column above the month of April reaches the line that connects to 800 on the vertical axis, so the income for April is $800.

Bar graph of Sean’s monthly income for the months April, May June and July. The amounts are $800 for April; $1105 for May ; $900 for June and $1000 for July.  There is an arrow pointing to the top of the column above the month April.  There is an arrow pointing to the amount $800 on the vertical axis.

Similarly, the column above the month of July reaches the line that connects to 1000 on the vertical axis, so the income for July is $1000.

Bar graph of Sean’s monthly income for the months April May June and July. The amounts are $800 for April; $1105 for May ; $900 for June and $1000 for July.  There is an arrow pointing to the top of the column above July.  There is an arrow pointing at the amount 1000 on the vertical axis.

Again, this is the same as the amount given in the table.

It’s more difficult to determine the income for May and June accurately from the graph. You can see that the column above the month of May is about halfway between 1000 and 1200 and the column above the month of June is about halfway between 800 and 1000.

Bar graph of Sean’s monthly income for the months April May June and July. The amounts are $800 for April; $1105 for May ; $900 for June and $1000 for July.  There is an arrow pointing to the top of the column above the month of May.  There is an arrow pointing to the top of the column above the month of June.

It would be reasonable to estimate that the income for May is $1100 and the income for June is $900.

Look at the following graph:

Bar graph of Sean’s monthly income for the months April May June and July. The amounts are $800 for April; $1105 for May ; $900 for June and $1000 for July.  There is a dotted horizontal line at the value of 900 on the vertical axis.  There is a dotted horizontal line at the value of 1100 on the vertical axis.

Horizontal lines have been added halfway between the original lines. You can now see that the column above the month of June reaches the horizontal line at 900, so the income for June is $900. This is the same as the amount given in the table.

The column showing the month of May is a little above the line at 1100. This means the income for May is a little more than $1100. You can see from the table that the income for May is $1105, but it isn’t possible to be that precise when you read the graph. If you estimate the monthly income for May from the original graph, an answer anywhere between about $1100 and $1110 would be acceptable.

Try It!

Your turn:

Here is the graph of Sean’s income for the next four months.

Bar graph of Sean’s monthly income for the months August, September, October and November.

Estimate his income for each of the four months. The actual amounts are available for viewing once you enter the estimation.

Estimated Income for August:

Estimated Income for September:

Estimated Income for October:

Estimated Income for November:

Graphs can be very helpful. They can show you the direction and speed of a trend or provide a big picture of a complex situation, such as how quickly the price of a litre of gas is increasing or how your total expenses are being distributed among the different categories such as rent, food, and so on.

Scroll through the examples of graphs provided and think about what information is being communicated in each one.

In this activity, you’ll learn to read, interpret, and create column (or bar) graphs, circle (or pie) graphs, and line graphs so that you can better understand the information or data displayed in the graph.

If you look at the business and sports sections of a news website or newspaper, you’ll see examples of tables and graphs. There are many different types of graphs commonly used.

Types of graphs

Data can be displayed on different types of graphs. Each type of graph is used for a specific purpose. First let’s look at the different types and then we can discuss which graph to use for which type of data.

A folded newspaper

Circle graphs are sometimes called pie graphs. As you will see in the following example, the name fits because the graph resembles a pie that has been cut into pieces. In most cases, the pieces in a pie graph aren’t equal in size. If the slice of pie is large, then the value it represents is a large portion of the total. If the slice of pie is small, then the value it represents is a small portion of the total.

It’s easiest to understand by looking at an example.

Example

Karla has created a circle graph for her monthly expenses.

A circle (pie) graph with the values of 45% for rent, 13% for telephone, TV, internet, 1% for insurance, 29% for food, 4% for transportation, 1% for health care and 7% for credit cards/loan payments.

You can see very clearly from the graph that the largest portion of Karla’s expenses goes to rent. This is the largest piece of the pie. You can also read the percentage beside each category. The circle graph allows you to see quickly what portion of the total budget each category represents.

Your turn

Use the circle graph of Karla’s monthly budget to answer the following questions. Compare your thinking with the suggested answers.

a) On what categories does Karla spend the least?


b) What percentage of her expenses does Karla spend on transportation?


c) Given that Karla’s total expenses are $1365 per month, how much does she spend on food each month?

You will be creating spreadsheets later in this activity. The examples provided have been created in Microsoft Excel. In Excel, a graph that has vertical bars (bars that go up and down) is called a column graph, and a graph that has horizontal bars (bars that go left to right) is called a bar graph. To avoid confusion, graphs with the bars going up and down will be referred to as column graphs throughout this unit. You should be aware that some other sources refer to these graphs as bar graphs.

Example

The following column graph displays the total monthly expenses for some household budgets. The categories on the horizontal axis tell you the name of the family or individual. The scale on the vertical axis is used to estimate the monthly expenses.

A bar graph for the total monthly expenses for the Bester, Ng, Noll, Sedore and Wells families. The amounts are $4250 for the Bester family, $1700 for the Ng family, $1900 for the Noll family, $2200 for the Sedore family and $4600 for the Wells family.

It is easy to compare the amounts that each family spends. The tallest column represents the largest amount. The shortest column represents the lowest amount.

Your turn

Input the answers to the following questions. Compare your thinking with the suggested answers.

a) Which family has the highest expenses?


b) Which family has the lowest expenses?


c) Use the graph to estimate the Noll family’s monthly expenses.

The structure of a line graph is similar to a column graph. There is a horizontal axis and a vertical axis. Instead of constructing a column above the horizontal axis, a point is plotted. The points are connected from left to right.

A line graph is most frequently used to illustrate how something is changing over time. You could use a line graph to record the height of a child each year or to track your monthly expenses.

Example

The following line graph shows how the value of a car changes from the day it was purchased. The horizontal axis represents the number of years since the purchase and the vertical axis represents the value of the car.

A line graph representing the Value of a car based on the number of years that have passed since the car was purchased.  The value of the car at year 0 was $20000. At year 1 the value was $15000.  At year 2 the value was $11250.  At year 3 the value was $8437.50.  At year 4 the value was $6328.13.  At year 5 the value was $4746.09.

You can easily see that the value of the car goes down as time passes. Line graphs help to identify trends. This means that you can see whether the overall pattern is an increase in value or a decrease in value. The line graph is sometimes not as smooth as this one. You can extend this graph and make a prediction about the value of the car after the last point plotted by following the trend. You’d have to make the assumption that the conditions that existed in the first five years will continue. For example, if the owner has an accident with the car, or for some reason people no longer wanted to purchase that particular type of car, the car would lose value more quickly than before.

Your turn

Input the answers to the following questions. Suggested answers are available.

a) What was the value of the car when it was purchased?


b) Estimate the value of the car two years after it was purchased.


c) Estimate the value of the car six years after it was purchased?


d) What assumptions did you make in answering part c)?

Which graph to use?

When you need to decide what type of graph will best display the data, consider the following:

A circle (pie) graph with the values of 45% for rent, 13% for telephone, TV, internet, 1% for insurance, 29% for food, 4% for transportation, 1% for health care and 7% for credit cards/loan payments. Circle or pie graphs allow you easily to see what portion of the total each item represents
A bar graph for the total monthly expenses for the Bester, Ng, Noll, Sedore and Wells families. The amounts are $4250 for the Bester family, $1700 for the Ng family, $1900 for the Noll family, $2200 for the Sedore family and $4600 for the Wells family. Column or bar graphs allow you easily to compare one item to another.
A line graph representing the Value of a car based on the number of years that have passed since the car was purchased.  The value of the car at year 0 was $20000. At year 1 the value was $15000.  At year 2 the value was $11250.  At year 3 the value was $8437.50.  At year 4 the value was $6328.13.  At year 5 the value was $4746.09  At year 6 the value was $3559.57. Line graphs allow you to track changes over time and determine general trends.

A well-made graph can be very handy when you need to inform someone about or convince someone of the facts. There will be times when you, or your employer, need to communicate data quickly and persuasively with a graph. Have you ever wondered how professional-looking graphs are created? Now it’s time for you to learn how to create your own.

Constructing graphs using technology

Graphs can be made with several different software programs. You’ll be using Microsoft Excel or a comparable spreadsheet program in this course. Please note that the examples in this course use a dated version of Microsoft Excel. Most of the spreadsheet programs have similar features, so once you’ve learned one program you should be able to adapt to other programs.

The first step is to collect your data. You need to have the data organized in a table before you can create the graph. The table must be organized into one or two columns of numbers. The data can then be entered in a spreadsheet to create the graph.

Creating circle graphs

In the examples that follow, you’ll learn how to create a circle graph, a column graph, a line graph, and a special kind of line graph that is referred to as an XY (Scatter) graph in the Excel program. A line graph and XY (Scatter) graph look almost the same. Whether you should choose the line graph or the XY (Scatter) graph will depend on the situation:

  • Use a line graph if the data in the first column of the table are words and you have only one column of numbers. This is called one-variable data.
  • Use an XY (Scatter) graph if the data contains two columns of numbers. This is called two-variable data.

Before creating the graph, you need to think about which type of graph best displays the particular set of data that you are working with. In the examples that follow, you’ll consider which is the best type of graph and then learn to use Excel to create the graph.

Example

The following table shows the results of a survey about music. People were asked to indicate which type of music they preferred. You want to create a circle graph to show what portion of the total each type of music represents.

Music Survey
Type of music Frequency
Hip Hop 20
Metal 70
Rap 50
Pop 100
Alternative 120
Other 60

Open the program Microsoft Excel. Enter the data into the spreadsheet. You do not need to include the headings at this time. It is much easier and less confusing to enter these later.

Snapshot of an excel screen.  Column A contains the labels:  Hip Hop, Metal, Rap, Pop, Alternative and Other.  Column B contains the values:  20, 70, 50, 100, 120 and 60.

Select the data by clicking and dragging the mouse so that the cells containing the data are highlighted.

Snapshot of an excel screen. Column A contains the labels:  Hip Hop, Metal, Rap, Pop, Alternative and Other.   Column B contains the values:  20, 70, 50, 100, 120 and 60. The columns A and B have been highlighted from row 1 to row 6 inclusive.

From the toolbar at the top, select Insert and chart.

Snapshot of an excel screen.  Column A contains the labels:  Hip Hop, Metal, Rap, Pop, Alternative and Other.  Column B contains the values:  20, 70, 50, 100, 120 and 60.  The Insert drop down menu is visible with the choices of Rows, Chart and Function.

You can also click on the chart icon on the toolbar.

Snapshot of an excel screen.  Column A contains the labels:  Hip Hop, Metal, Rap, Pop, Alternative and Other.   Column B contains the values:  20, 70, 50, 100, 120 and 60.  There is an arrow pointing at the chart icon on the tool bar.

Select Pie since you want to create a circle graph. Select the one in the upper left hand corner.

Snapshot of the Chart Wizard - Step 1 from the Excel program.  There is an arrow pointing at the Pie graph selection.

Click next.

Snapshot of the Chart Wizard - Step 1 from the Excel program.  There is an arrow pointing at the Pie graph selection.  There is an arrow pointing at the Next choice.

There are two tabs that say Data Range and Series. The default settings are fine for most purposes so click next.

Snapshot of the Chart Wizard - Step 2 from the Excel program.  There are two tabs that say Data Range and Series.  The tab is currently on Data Range.

You’ll see a toolbar with titles, legend and data labels. These selections allow you to customize your graph.

Snapshot of the Chart Wizard - Step 3 from the Excel program.  There are three tabs that read Titles, Legend and Data Labels. The tab is currently on Legend.  The Show Legend box is checked and Right is selected for position.

Select titles and enter Music Survey.

Snapshot of the Chart Wizard - Step 3 from the Excel program.  There are three tabs that read Titles, Legend and Data Labels. The tab is currently on Titles. Music Survey has been entered for Chart Title.

Select legend and de-select show legend. This removes the key that shows the categories on the page with the graph. You may want to include it on your pie graphs if you print them in colour.

Snapshot of the Chart Wizard - Step 3 from the Excel program.  There are three tabs that read Titles, Legend and Data Labels. The tab is currently on Legend.  The Show Legend box is empty.

Click data labels and select category name and percentage.

Snapshot of the Chart Wizard - Step 3 from the Excel program.  There are three tabs that read Titles, Legend and Data Labels. The tab is currently on Data Labels.  The Category name, the Percentage and the Show leader lines boxes are all checked.

Click next and finish.

Snapshot of the Chart Wizard - Step 4 from the Excel program.  There are two selections:  As new sheet or As object in.  The As object in choice has been selected. A circle (pie) graph with the values of 5% for Hip Hop, 17% for Metal, 12% for Rap, 24% for Pop, 28% for Alternative, and 14% for Other.

You can make the graph bigger by clicking on a corner and dragging it out. You can copy and paste the graph into a word document or print the graph once you have completed it.

Creating column graphs

A column graph is used to compare things. For example, you could use a column graph to compare the number of goals that were scored in a season by some of the players in the National Hockey League or to compare the number of people that preferred certain movies in a survey.

Example

The following table shows the results of a survey on the favourite hockey team of people in Toronto. You want to create a column graph to compare the popularity of the teams.

Toronto Survey of Hockey Teams
Team Number of people
Calgary 100
Edmonton 120
Montreal 400
Ottawa 50
Toronto 600
Vancouver 100

Open the program Microsoft Excel. Enter the data into the cells. Remember you don’t need to enter the titles.

Snapshot of an excel screen.  Column A contains the labels:  Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver.  Column B contains the values: 100, 120, 400, 50, 600 and 100.

Select the data in the cells.

Snapshot of an excel screen.  Column A contains the labels:  Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver.  Column B contains the values: 100, 120, 400, 50, 600 and 100.  Columns A and B have been highlight from rows 1 through 6.

Open the chart wizard by selecting insert, then chart or by clicking the chart icon on the toolbar. Since you want to compare the popularity of the teams, select column.

Snapshot of the Chart Wizard - Step 1 from the Excel program.  The column choice has been highlighted. The top left choice for Chart sub-type is highlighted.

There are different types of graphs available. Choose the default graph in the upper left-hand corner. Click next.

Snapshot of the Chart Wizard - Step 1 from the Excel program.  The column choice has been highlighted.  There is an arrow pointing at the top left choice for Chart sub-type selections.  The top left choice for Chart sub-type is highlighted.

You’ll see tabs labelled data range and series. The default settings are fine. Click next. Select titles.

Snapshot of the Chart Wizard - Step 2 from the Excel program.  There are two tabs that say Data Range and Series.  The tab is currently on Data Range.

Under chart title enter Toronto Survey of Hockey Teams.

Snapshot of the Chart Wizard - Step 3 from the Excel program.  There are six tabs that say Titles, Axes, Gridlines, Legend, Data Labels and Data Table. The tab is currently on Titles.  Survey of Hockey Team has be entered for the Chart Title.

Under category (X) title enter Team.

Snapshot of the Chart Wizard - Step 3 from the Excel program.  There are six tabs that say Titles, Axes, Gridlines, Legend, Data Labels and Data Table. The tab is currently on Titles.  Survey of Hockey Team has be entered for the Chart Title.  Team has been entered for the Category (X) axis.

Under Value (Y) title, enter Number of People.

Snapshot of the Chart Wizard - Step 3 from the Excel program.  There are six tabs that say Titles, Axes, Gridlines, Legend, Data Labels and Data Table. The tab is currently on Titles.  Survey of Hockey Team has be entered for the Chart Title.  Team has been entered for the Category (X) axis.  Number of People has been entered for the Value (Y) axis.

Select the legend tab and de-select show legend.

Snapshot of the Chart Wizard - Step 3 from the Excel program.  There are six tabs that say Titles, Axes, Gridlines, Legend, Data Labels and Data Table. The tab is currently on Legend.  The Show Legend box is empty.

Select next and then finish.

A bar graph of representing the Toronto Survey of Hockey Teams.  The teams on the horizontal axis are Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver.  The vertical axis represents the number of people.  The amounts are 100 for Calgary, 120 for Edmonton, 400 for Montreal, 50 for Ottawa, 600 for Toronto and 100 for Vancouver.

You can copy and past the graph into a word document or print the graph.

Creating line graphs

As you may recall, a line graph is most frequently used to illustrate how something is changing over time.

This particular example will walk you through the creation of a line graph. Let’s get started.

Example

The following table shows the average monthly temperature for a town in Ontario. You want to create a line graph to show the temperature changes as the year progresses.

Town in Ontario
Month Average temperature (°C)
January –10
February –5
March 0
April 10
May 15
June 22
July 25
August 25
September 17
October 12
November 8
December –4

Open Microsoft Excel. Enter the data into the cells. You can use the first letter of each month instead of entering the entire month name.

Snapshot of an excel screen.  Column A contains the labels:  J,F, M, A, M, J, J, A, S, O, N AND D.  Column B contains the values:  -10, -5, 0, 10, 15, 22, 25, 25, 17, 12, 8, and -4.

Select the data. Open the chart wizard by using the insert tab or the icon on the toolbar.

A line graph should be used to display this data since you want to see the temperature change as the year progresses and the data in the first column are words. Select line. Use the default setting. This is the one in the middle row on the left. Click next.

Snapshot of the Chart Wizard - Step 1 from the Excel program.  Line has been selected as the chart type.

There are two tabs labelled Data Range and Series. The default setting is fine. Click next.

Snapshot of the Chart Wizard - Step 2 from the Excel program.  There are two tabs:  Data Range and Series.  The Data Range tab has been selected.

Select the Titles tab. Under the chart title enter Town in Ontario.

Snapshot of the Chart Wizard - Step 3 from the Excel program.  There are six tabs:  Titles, Axes, Gridlines, Legend, Data Labels and Data Table.  The tab Titles has been selected.  Town in Ontario has been entered for the Chart Title.

Under Category (x) title enter Month.

Snapshot of the Chart Wizard - Step 3 from the Excel program.  There are six tabs:  Titles, Axes, Gridlines, Legend, Data Labels and Data Table.  The tab Titles has been selected.  Town in Ontario has been entered for the Chart Title. Month has been entered for the Category (X) axis.

Under value (Y) axis enter Average Temperature (Degrees Celsius).

Snapshot of the Chart Wizard - Step 3 from the Excel program.  There are six tabs:  Titles, Axes, Gridlines, Legend, Data Labels and Data Table.  The tab Titles has been selected.  Town in Ontario has been entered for the Chart Title. Month has been entered for the Category (X) axis.  Annual Temperature (Degrees Celcius) has been entered for the Value (Y) axis.

Select next and finish.

A line graph of the temperatures in degree Celsius for a Town in Ontario every month for a year.  The temperature for January was -10 degrees Celsius. The temperature for February was -5 degrees Celsius. The temperature for March was 0 degrees Celsius. The temperature for April was 10 degrees Celsius. The temperature for May was 15 degrees Celsius.  The temperature for June was 22 degrees Celsius.  The temperature for July was 25 degrees Celsius.  The temperature for August  was 25 degrees Celsius. The temperature for September was 17 degrees Celsius.  The temperature for October was 12 degrees Celsius. The temperature for November was 8 degrees Celsius.  The temperature for December was -4 degrees Celsius.

You can copy and paste the graph into a word document or print the graph.

Check your understanding

Here are some questions for you to try on paper. Complete the questions first and then compare your work with the suggestions provided. Review the solutions to ensure you are following the correct format. These questions will be similar to those on the assessment at the end of this unit.

1. The following graph represents the results on a survey done before a nationally televised reality talent show. The contestants were all winners from previous shows. Viewers were asked which of the contestants they would vote for.

A circle (pie) graph of a talent show’s viewer survey results.  Renee is 38%.  Greg is 6%.  Mark is 11%.  Kim is 17%.  Luke is 28%.

a) Who appears most likely to win the talent show?


b) Who appears least likely to win the talent show?


c) What percentage of the people surveyed indicated they would vote for Luke?


d) There were 200 viewers surveyed. How many indicated that they would vote for Kim?


2. The following column graph shows the number of goals scored in one season by 10 players on a hockey team.

A bar graph of the goals scored last season by the players John, Tim, Carl, Brad, Jim, Frank, Peter, Cindy, Joe and Brent.  John scored 45 goals.  Tim scored 11 goals.  Carl scored 30 goals.  Brad scored 60 goals.  Jim scored 20 goals.  Frank scored 19 goals. Peter scored 10 goals.  Cindy scored 35 goals.  Joe scored 4 goals.  Brent scored 8 goals.


a) Who scored the most goals?


b) Who scored the fewest goals?



c) Estimate the number of goals John scored.


d) How many more goals did Carl score than Jim?


3. The following graph contains information about Jason’s annual income for a period of eight years.

A scatter plot line graph of Jason’s annual income over 8 years.  The income at year 1 was $20000.  The income at year 2 was $17000.  The income at year 3 was $21000.  The income at year 4 was $22000.  The income at year 5 was $25000.  The income at year 6 was $24000.  The income at year 7 was $26000.  The income at year 7 was $26000.  The income at year 8 was $30000.

a) What was Jason’s annual income in year 5?


b) In what years was Jason’s income lowest?


c) What is the overall trend (that is, is Jason’s income increasing or decreasing?) How can you tell?


d) From year 1 to year 2, Jason’s income went down. During what other time did his income go down?


e) Estimate what Jason’s annual income was in year 4.


f) Estimate what Jason’s annual income will likely be in year 9. What assumption did you make?


4. Create the indicated type of graph for each of the following sets of data:

a) The results of the number of seats won in an election are provided in the following table. Display the data using a column graph.

Election Results
Party Number of Seats
Green 1
Liberal 60
NDP 10
PC 36

b) People in a small town were asked to identify their first language. The results of the survey are provided in the following table. Display the data using a circle graph.

First Language
Language Frequency
English 200
French 150
Italian 50
Cantonese 30
Other 75

c) A gas station recorded the average cost of a litre of regular gasoline. Graph the data in the table using a line graph (XY Scatter).

Average Cost of 1 Litre of Gasoline
Year Cost (in cents)
1970 55
1975 53
1980 62
1985 85
1990 75
1995 68
2000 70
2005 92
2010 62
2015 109

Conclusion

Good work! You have completed Learning Activity 1. You have worked through all the examples and had several opportunities to check your understanding along the way. You should feel comfortable

  • Reading and interpreting graphs obtained from various sources,
  • Representing categorical data by constructing graphs using a spreadsheet, and
  • Making inferences based on the graphical representation of data and justifying conclusions in writing using convincing arguments.

Now that you’ve learned to read graphs and to create graphs of existing data using technology, you may be wondering how the data is collected. In Learning Activity 2, you’ll learn about different methods of data collection and you’ll be able to use your skills to graph the data that you’ll collect.