Strategy #5: Reading diagrams

Diagrams can be used in many different ways, but they are especially good for illustrating concepts and processes. As with the other graphics described here, diagrams come in a variety of types. Therefore, it is important for students to understand what kind of diagram they are looking at before they can interpret it.

Venn Diagram

A Venn diagram illustrates the points at which two or more groups or concepts overlap.

Example Venn Diagram

In the example here, the characteristics of both globular and open star clusters are listed in the left and right spheres. Teaching students to read this graphic is relatively simple. Have them identify the characteristics that are common to both types of clusters.