Creating a Pictograph After Gathering Data

Instructor: Dina Albert
There are many ways to present data once it has been collected. One creative, fun and easy way is to use a pictograph. In this lesson, we will learn how to create pictographs.

What is a Pictograph?

People have used pictures for a very long time to tell stories and give information. For example, Egyptians carved pictures into walls and rock tablets to tell their history. These days, you can show information lots of ways. Pictographs are one of them.

A pictograph is a graph (usually in the form of a chart) that uses pictures to show specific values, or numbers. Usually we create pictographs to represent data we collect from surveys.

Reading a Pictograph

Let's start by looking at and recognizing the parts of a pictograph.


Notice the red arrows that point to key information:

  • The title of the graph - what question is the graph answering? This is at the top of the graph.
  • A title for each column (and there are at least two columns)
  • Names for each category that people were able to vote for (ice cream flavors)
  • Number of votes for each category shown by a picture
  • Most important: A key at the bottom to help the reader understand how many votes each picture stands for

In this example, one ice cream cone stands for two votes, while half of a cone stands for one vote.

Creating a Pictograph

When we create a pictograph, we use the same guidelines as when we read one. We need:

  • A graph title
  • Two columns and titles for each column
  • Names for each category people can vote for or pick
  • A picture to represent the number of votes or other data collected
  • A key that explains how much each picture stands for

Let's Practice

Let's say we did research to find out if more people go to Mark's Restaurant for breakfast, lunch or dinner. We asked 30 people for their input, and this is what we recorded for our results:

Breakfast: 5 people

Lunch: 15 people

Dinner: 10 people

Now we need to put this information into a chart, and the most fun part is we get to choose a picture to represent these votes! For this survey, let's choose a burger.

Let's say that this time, a whole burger represents 10 votes, and half of a burger represents 5 votes.

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