Data visualizations are images that represent data. Graphs are a type of data visualization in that they are an effective way to present a lot of data in a compact, easy-to-understand format. Unfortunately, it’s also very easy to manipulate graphs to distort what they actually represent.
In this activity, student pairs or trios use strategies presented by their teacher to enable them to take a close look at graphs in order to determine their reliability. Then students use what they’ve learned to distort one or more graphs.
- Download a copy of this file.
- Rename it using the format provided by your teacher and Save it.
- Close the Download window.
- Record your work in this file.
Here is a list of a few of the kinds on online resources that might be helpful in your research.
- Data Visualizations and Misrepresentation (video)
- How to spot a misleading graph – Lea Gaslowitz (video)
- Interactive Bar Graph (This tool shows students how changing the value of the y-axis can make a graph misleading.)
- A Brief History of Fake News