Interpreting Visual, Oral & Quantitative Information: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Joelle Mumley
Can you think of a time when you had trouble interpreting some difficult information? When information is presented, there are different ways to help readers understand it, which you'll learn about in this lesson.

Ways to Present Information

Imagine you're learning about the digestive system and nutrition in science class. Your science teacher, Mrs. Eatrite, brings a box of Pop Tarts. She enlarges a picture of the Pop Tarts food label on the computer screen. What kind of information can you learn from the food label?


Pop Tarts Food Label
Food Label2


Mrs. Eatrite showed you this visual to help you interpret real information about what you eat.

When you interpret something, you're trying to understand the meaning of the given information. In this case, the visual of the food label helps you get a better idea of what vitamins and minerals are in your food.

There are various ways to present information to make it easier to interpret. Three common ways to show information are the following:

  1. Visually: This uses a picture or an image to present information. To interpret visual information, look for headings, bold text, key terms, and other details in the picture.
  2. Orally: This uses words or a conversation to present information. To interpret oral information, listen for key words, information that is repeated, the tone of a person's voice, and the main idea.
  3. Quantitatively: This uses graphs, charts, and timelines to present information about quantities, or numbers and amounts. To interpret quantitative information, look for titles, labels, dates, times, and numbers.

Now that you know how information can be presented, let's practice interpreting information!

Interpreting Information

Each of these three ways of presenting information allows you to gain a deeper understanding of the content.

Let's start with visually. You can interpret a lot of information just by seeing an image, such as our previous example of a food label:

  • Heading: Nutrition Facts
  • Bold terms:
    • Calories
    • Total Fat
    • Carbohydrates
    • Sodium
    • Protein
    • Cholesterol
    • % Daily Value

Nutrition labels are real-life examples of visuals that provide you with information about what's in the foods you eat, such as vitamins and minerals. By interpreting food labels, you can learn more about nutrition.

Now let's look at orally. Some people learn better when they hear information out loud or when they talk about it. For example, take a look at Suzy's persuasive speech about cleaning up the community playground.

Think about playing on a filthy, garbage-filled playground. You want to play kickball in the field, but it's covered with paper, napkins, and plastic bottles, and it's not safe to run on. You want to go down the slide; however, there's a bag of trash at the bottom of it. I don't know about you, but that sounds terrible to me. We need to clean up our playground.

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