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Charting Success

Age 11 to 16
Challenge Level

Why do this problem?

When processing and representing data, it is important to consider the audience and purpose of the representation. In this problem, students are invited to consider some examples of representations from the world of sport, to make sense of the stories they tell, and to analyse whether the right representation has been chosen for the purpose.


Possible approach

Hand out this worksheet with the graphs and their questions to each pair of students. You may wish to give each pair of students only some of the graphs to work on.

"For each graph or diagram you have been given, try to tell the story about the sporting event it represents or the information it conveys. Then have a go at answering the questions on the sheet."

As the class are working, circulate and listen out for particularly insightful and detailed descriptions of the sporting events or clear analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of particular representations.

Bring the class together, and for each graph or diagram ask those students who worked on it to tell the story and share their answers to the questions. The graphs and their questions are available to display as a powerpoint here.


Key questions

What are the advantages of each representation?

What are the disadvantages?


Possible extension

Invite students to search for other examples of graphs or diagrams used in sport, or in wider contexts, and ask them to prepare a short presentation on why particular representations are suitable or unsuitable for different purposes. (Newspapers are a great source of both good and bad representations of data.)

Charting More Success offers further diagrams to discuss.


Possible support

Choose one of the graphs to go through together in the class, and model the sort of response each question requires.