The “Plot” Thickens: Upper Elementary Graphing Skills (part 2)
The older children get, the more challenging the graphing skills become. Children will start to solve problems based on reading and analyzing a graph and build a graph based on data that they collect as well as data that is provided for them. In addition they will learn about coordinate pairs and graph them on a line graph as well as learning about circle graphs. Concepts of mean, median, and mode will also be taught. These topics are typically taught during math class, but can also overlap into reading, social studies, and science.
You can incorporate practice of these skills at home in several ways. One way is by sharing graphs that may be in articles that you are reading in print or digital newspapers. Have your child read the graph with you and try to figure out the meaning of the graphs. Typical graphs you can find in the newspaper would be about sports statistics, economics, the weather, and pop culture trends. This can also be done while watching the nightly news.
Another activity is to share data with your child about household bills. The electric bill is a great option. You can have your child create a line graph of the bills and then compare the amounts. They can then see the trend of how the bill in South Florida goes down in the winter and goes up in the summer. You can even have them reflect how this might be different for a household in the north in a state like Michigan.