What is a Picture Graph? - Definition & Examples Video

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  • 0:03 Definition of a Picture Graph
  • 0:47 Picture Graph Examples
  • 1:30 Constructing a Picture Graph
  • 3:00 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Cory Haley
We will explore the function of a picture graph and look at some examples. Also, in this lesson you will learn to create questions and organize, represent, and interpret data from a picture graph.

Definition of a Picture Graph

A picture graph is a pictorial display of data with symbols, icons, and pictures to represent different quantities. The symbols, icons, and pictures of a picture graph typically represent concepts or ideas, or stand in for a larger quantity of something. For example, a single stick man on a picture graph could represent a million people in a city's population.

The use of picture graphs dates back to the ancient Egyptians. They used pictures known as hieroglyphics to convey a message. Take a moment and look at the image here.

As you can see in this picture graph, each picture plus another picture represents a new meaning. Even today, we use and see picture graphs daily. Today we will learn how we can use pictures to organize, represent, and interpret data.

Picture Graph Examples

Did you know that with a picture graph we can create questions based off of the displayed data? Check out this picture graph.

The first question you might ask is, how many different fruits are represented in this picture graph? A glance tells us that there are four types of fruit represented in the picture graph. Then, as we analyze the picture graph and look at the key on the right, we see that each individual fruit picture equals 2 fruits. For example, there are five oranges pictured, but the key tells us that represents 10 (not 5) actual oranges in this picture graph. Another question we can ask is, which fruit was eaten the most? Another quick glance tells us that the correct answer is the apple, which students reported eating 20 times.

Constructing a Picture Graph

It's important to know that certain types of picture graphs must have certain features. Take a moment and look at the picture graph here. You can see how different it is from the earlier graphs we looked at.

The first step in creating any kind of picture graph is to give it a title, which will provide an overview of the data being displayed. The title of this picture graph is 'Our Pets' - that tells the viewer of the graph that they'll learn something about the maker of the graph's pets.

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