Worksheets and lesson ideas to challenge students aged 11 to 16 to think hard about drawing and describing graphs (GCSE and Key Stage 3)
You can help students advance their graphing skills by using split screen objectives and focusing on developing discrete skills, one by one. Peer assessment can be a useful strategy to make outcomes visible. It also helps ensure all students see what you are seeing when you draw a graph.
Avoid falling into the trap of saying, ‘Today we are going to do graphs’. Graphing involves many skills. Unless these are explicitly planned for, it may just end up being a case of doing and not learning.
Drawing graphs in science
Worksheet to teach students how to plot points on a graph. Students draw a picture on graph paper and list its x and y coordinates. These coordinates are passed to their partner who has a go at drawing the picture. This activity can be made more challenging by making the original scale difficult. (PDF)
Presentation to peer assess graphs. This worksheet is a simple framework that can be altered to help students peer assess graphs. Success criteria/the mark scheme should be shown before students attempt to draw their own graphs so they can see what success looks like. (PDF)
Describing and explaining graphs
Worksheet to teach students how to describe and explain graphs. This is a great way to help students understand the difference between explain and describe. It also shows students how sectioning graphs into discrete stages can support descriptions and explanations. Many students think temperature simply increases and decreases over a 24-hour period. This is a nice misconception to remedy! This resource was made in collaboration with Thomas Kitwood. (PDF)
Correlation does not mean causation
Correlation does not necessarily mean causation. This great website from Tyler Vigen provides some entertaining relationships to discuss and use in your lessons.