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Strategy #4: Reading graphs

Just as there are many different types of charts, graphs also come in a wide variety including line graphs and bar graphs. Generally speaking, a graph represents relationships or trends via lines, bars, or dots. Each graph has its own purposes and specific ways of reading for comprehension. Therefore, it is important for students to understand what kind of graph they are looking at before they can interpret it.

Line graph

Line graphs use lines to connect data points and indicate changes or trends. Line graphs allow the reader to draw comparative conclusions about how the data has fluctuated over time.

Example Line Graph

This line graph again uses the data provided in the table for international students by academic level. Teaching students to read this graphic is relatively simple. Have them identify which categories had the greatest and the least fluctuation.