Education Technology

Statistical Graphs & Economics

Activity Overview

What types of statistical graphs are there and when and how are they used and read? How are statistical graphs used in Economics?

Before the Activity

Have several large graphs of different types up around the room. You an use graphs from the White House website or a similar source, or make your own.

During the Activity

Students will: be given an index card with a type of graph, a use of a graph, and a time the graph would be used. They will match their card with a graph and stand by that graph. The students will defend their choice in their group and then as a whole to the class. Give examples of types of graphs used for certain situations (i.e. country statistics showing literacy, infant death rate, inflation rates, unemployment rates, etc.). Have students take the LearnCheck "Statistical Graphs" as an informal assessment. Then begin a discussion of population pyramids. Use the Activity Center background to show an example. Other examples can be downloaded from the given website. (Note: When you save an image be sure to invert the colors so the text will become white and the background will become black. That way it will show up on the black background of the Activity Center.)Discuss how they are developed, read and interpreted. Show a clip from "Tootsie" showing the masses of people in New York. Then show the opening from "Northern Exposure" with just the moose walking down the street. Conclude with a discussion on how a population pyramid would look for your community. Have students begin gathering data to prepare a population pyramid for their community.

After the Activity

Conclude by asking the question, "At what point does population 'tip' to influence the availability and variety of cultural activities and pursuits?? Have students be prepared to share and defend their answer.