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When a bar graph is included in their reading, have students follow these steps for better reading comprehension:

Step One: Previewing and Comprehension

  • What is the title/caption?
  • What data is recorded along the horizontal and vertical axes?

Step Two: Structural Analysis

  • How is the information organized?
  • How should the information be tracked and read?

Step Three: Content Analysis

  • Summarize the information conveyed in the bar graph.
  • How does the bar graph relate to the reading?

Step Four: Critical Analysis

  • Who created the bar graph, for what purpose, and for what audience? Could the bar graph be biased?
  • Does the information appear complete and current?
  • How can you use the information in the bar graph? How does it relate to what you have read?