Guided Lessons

# Charts and Graphs and Diagrams, Oh My!

Students will learn about three nonfiction text features: charts, graphs, and diagrams. They will analyze and interpret the information represented in these visual forms and discover how they aid in the comprehension of nonfiction texts.
Need extra help for EL students? Try theIntroduction to Charts and DiagramsPre-lesson.
Need extra help for EL students? Try theIntroduction to Charts and DiagramsPre-lesson.

Students will be able to read and analyze charts, graphs, and diagrams.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
(5 minutes)
• Tell students that today you will be talking about three specific types of text features: charts, graphs, and diagrams.
• Explain to students that Text featuresAre parts of a book or an article that are not the main body of the text. These features give us more information to help us understand what we are reading.
(10 minutes)
• Perform a text feature walkthrough of a nonfiction printed text using a mentor text from your classroom library. Turn through the pages of the text, stopping to point out different graphs, charts, and diagrams and think aloud about what students can learn from these text features.
• On a piece of chart paper write the three headings “charts,” “graphs,” and “diagrams.”
• Tell students that ChartsAnd GraphsAre visual representations of information that show the relationship between two or more things. Charts and graphs are quick and easy to read.
• Ask students to brainstorm a list of charts and graphs they have encountered in different nonfiction texts. Write students’ contributions on the chart paper under the appropriate headings (e.g., pie charts, scatter plot charts, pictographs, and bar graphs).
• Tell students that a DiagramExplains how something works and the relationship between parts in a visual way.
• Ask students to brainstorm a list diagrams they have encountered in different nonfiction texts. Write students’ contributions on the chart paper under the appropriate heading (e.g., Venn diagrams, flow charts, cross section diagrams of Earth, and labeled diagrams of plant parts).
(15 minutes)
• Project the What’s It Made Of? worksheet (see related media).
• Tell students that this is an example of a type of chart called a pie chart.
• Explain that this pie chart is a visual representation of the different elements that make up the earth's crust.
• Work with students to use the clues at the bottom of the page to fill in the correct elements in each slice of the pie chart.
• Ask students to think about what the information on the chart means and how does the use of this chart help make the information more clear and easy to read.
• Project the worksheet Interpreting Bar Chart Graphs (see related media).
• Tell students that this is an example of a type of graph called a bar graph.
• Explain that this bar graph is a visual representation of the pounds of fruit harvested in a six-month period.
• Work with students to answer some of the questions presented at the bottom of the page.
• Ask students to think about what type of nonfiction text this chart might be found in. Is it helpful to have this information presented in the form of a chart?
• Project the worksheet Summer Hobbies (see related media).
• Tell students that this is an example of a type of diagram called a Venn diagram.
• Work with students to answer some of the questions presented at the bottom of the page.
• Ask students to think about how looking at a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting summer hobbies might be easier than reading about it in a nonfiction text.
(20 minutes)
• Tell students that it is their turn to read charts, graphs, and diagrams independently.
• Handout and preview the Reading Charts, Graphs, and Diagrams from Nonfiction Texts worksheet and have students complete it independently.

Support:

• Give students the option to select one of the three text features presented in the Reading Charts, Graphs, and Diagrams from Nonfiction Texts worksheet to analyze as opposed to all three.

Enrichment:

• Encourage students to select a topic to either chart, graph, or diagram from a nonfiction text in the classroom.
(5 minutes)
• Recite a series of true and false statements about the different ways text features present information. For example: "True or false? A graph is designed to show the connection between two or more quantities." (Answer: true)
• Tell students to give a thumbs-up if they think the statement is true and a thumbs-down if they think the statement is false.
(5 minutes)
• Ask students to discuss the advantages of utilizing both the main body of a nonfiction text and the text features such as charts, graphs, and diagrams when learning about a topic.
• Ask them to consider some possible disadvantages of relying solely on either the main body of the text or the text features.