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What is a Graph? - Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Danielle Reid

Danielle has taught middle school science and has a doctorate degree in Environmental Health

Graphs are cool pictures that come in many different sizes and patterns. They range from bar graphs to line graphs. Discover what a graph is and all of the awesome types.

What is A Graph?

Graphs are found in so many places. We can find them under our rugs and by our calculators. Okay, okay, maybe not quite under our rugs, but you may find one in a newspaper. A business may even create them. Now wait just one minute! What in the world is a graph?

Graphs show you information as a visual image or picture. We can call this information 'data'. Putting data into a picture and it can look skinny or fat, long or short. That is, sometimes we have lots and lots of data which requires many graphs. Other times we have very little data and need only one graph. If big or small, graphs tell an awesome story about our data others can see.

If we stretch out our arm what will we see? We will see fingers, a hand, and an arm. These are all parts of our body. Just like our body graphs also have different parts. They range from a title to a label and key. Each part works really hard to make sure a graph, well is a graph.

What is a graph used for? When a person collects data they can show their results in a graph. How about we look at some pretty cool graphs.

Graphs Come in Many Flavors

Big ones, tall ones, small ones, short ones. Graphs come in a variety of types or flavors. Here is an overview of some graphs:

  • Bar Graph: These help you compare different data sets to one another. Bars can be chunky or skinny. They can be very tall or super duper small. You can also change their colors to help compare datasets like this bar graph comparing the number of apples and oranges. Sample 6 has way more apples than oranges!

Example of a Bar Graph
bar graph

  • Line Graph: If you love connecting the dots then a line graph will be your best friend. Little dots represent the information. When you connect each dot, you form a line graph. As shown, we can track how many sit-up's we do over time. Look at that, by day 7 we are sit-up champs!

Example of a Line Graph
line graph

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