Education Technology

Middle Grades Math: Verbal to Visual: Sketching Graphs

by Texas Instruments


  • Students will sketch a graph that exhibits the qualitative features of a function that has been described verbally.
  • Students will describe qualitatively the functional relationship between two quantities by analyzing a graph (e.g., where the function is increasing or decreasing, linear or nonlinear).
  • Students will model mathematics.
  • Students will attend to precision.


  • function
  • increasing/decreasing function
  • constant rate of change
  • quadrants

About the Lesson

This lesson involves sketching graphs based upon important features described verbally in a situation.
As a result, students will:

  • Focus on identifying important features that aid in drawing sketches of functions, such as:
    • where the function is increasing, decreasing, or remaining constant;
    • the slope of the function or parts of the function, and;
    • the quadrants the function lies in.
  • Use these same ideas to describe the functional relationship between two variables as they write their own situation for a partner student to analyze.