# 5 Easy Tips to Make a Graph in Science

Do your students **stress out** when it’s time to make a graph in science?

Even though our students learn to create graphs in elementary school, so many students still tend to **struggle **when it’s time for graphing.

**Here are a few of the problems I see most often when students are graphing in science:**

- They don’t understand the
**difference between a line and bar graph**. - Students aren’t sure how to correctly
**graph the independent and dependent variables**. - They have difficulty deciding
**which intervals to use.**

**In my experience, taking the time to explicitly teach graphing skills pays off HUGE in the long run! **

## Check out these 5 tips to help students become confident in their graphing skills!

## 1. IS IT A BAR OR LINE GRAPH?

It’s likely that even thought this has been taught before,** taking a few minutes to go over when to use bar and line graphs in science is worth it’s weight in gold**.

After explaining the difference **between** bar and line graphs, take a few minutes to have students practice with a **simple index card activity:**

* Have students write bar on one side and line on the other side. Then give several examples. Students will hold up the word that describes the appropriate graph. *

## 2. KNOWING THE INDEPENDENT AND DEPENDENT VARIABLES IS THE KEY!!!!

**Picking out the IV and DV before creating the graph is key! **

If they can identify the variables in the beginning, everything else flows:

- The title
- Setting up the graph

## 3. TIPS TO TITLE A GRAPH

How many times have you had a graph turned in with a title like “My Fun Bubble Gum Activity”. It has to be an elementary school thing…. 🙂

If students get in the habit of creating titles with the IV and DV early on, **their teachers will thank you later! **

**Explicitly teaching students to write their title takes out all the guesswork! **

**Having a standard format for the title makes all the difference! **

*The Effect of IV on DV**The Relationship Between the IV and DV*

**Since students already have the variables picked out, it’s pure magic! **

## 4. TRY THIS TRICK TO LABEL THE X AND Y AXIS

“What goes on the x-axis?”

It’s the never ending question when creating a graph in science!

Sound familiar?

**Here’s a “handy” tip to help your students set up graphs in science correctly**: (Couldn’t resist!)

- Have students hold up their left hand in an “L” shape.
- Ask which is independent, the thumb or the fingers?
- Easy answer, of course it’s the thumb!
- Now overlay the thumb on a graph and show them how the thumb is independent and lines up with the x-axis.
**The independent variable always goes on the x-axis!** - This works for the fingers too – all four are together. They’re “dependent” on each other! The dependent variable goes on the y-axis which lines up with the pointer finger.

**I like to have students trace a hand in their notes and label where the independent and dependent variables go, like the pictures below!**

You can find more tips to using the scientific method in this **post**.

## 5. FINDING THE INTERVALS

Sure, you can play a game of guess and check. But if the graph is more complicated, there’s an easy formula to use!

**Did you know that you can figure out the intervals in just three easy steps? **

- Decide the largest number you need to graph.
- Count the boxes.
- Divide the largest number by the number of boxes.

**Easy peasy lemon squeezy! **

**Help your students build confidence graphing in science! **

**Are your students….**

**struggling to set up bar and line graphs**correctly in science- having difficulty
**interpreting**graphs

**Do they need a graphing refresher? **

- includes
**explicit, easy to follow PowerPoint**with**examples** - is
**packed with****differentiated materials**to help students become**confident** - provides teachers a
**no-prep, time saving resource**that can be used as a**stand alone unit**!__or__graphing practice throughout the year

**Here’s a peek at what’s inside!**

Want to see even more? Check out the **preview **here!