Experiential Exercise:

Reading and interpreting visuals are critical thinking skills often significant to a thorough comprehension of assigned readings, as shown in the following scenario:

"I had a wake-up call in class the other day...

Really? What happened?

We were talking in my sociology class about the chapter on income and wealth differences in the U.S.. There were several pie charts and bar graphs illustrating this. I thought these graphics would really make the students come out of their chairs.

So what happened?

Well, it seemed that none of them had even looked at any of the graphics.

Why not?

I didn't know, so I asked the students to open their books and take a look at a bar graph. I asked if anyone could explain it. Not one person answered.


Really. So I spent the rest of the class explaining how to read and understand bar graphs and pie charts, and it was like light bulbs of understanding were popping on all over the room.

Hmm... I never thought about how difficult reading charts and graphs can be."