Just recently, and as part of our whole school data project' year 7 stuendts have been exploring both bar an pie charts trying to get them to show information as clearly and as interestingly as they can! We docided that this year we were going to build these charts out of things before we drew them. We started with multilink cubes but went on to make a series of bar charts out of piles of books! See below for some pictures.
With pie charts in particular, there is something much more intuitive about actually building them and this can lead nicely in to the discussion about how we define parts of circles. Even if circles are not specified from the beginning, students often find a circle the best way to show the information which is terrific!
Building Bar charts
Building Pie charts and Bar charts out of books
Some particular examples and their observations!
This bar chart shows the number of books read in a year by different year groups going from year 7 to 13 from left to right! Whilst year 8 stand out as being in to their books it it the last two bars that really stand out with years 12 and 13 arguing that they have so little time left for reading!
That theory is backed up by this graph that shows minutes spent doing homework on a particular Thursday evening. This on goes from year 13 to 7 from left to right!