Part of 8th grade science is teaching graphing. Reading them, extracting data, creating them. This is not always a fun process. This may be the only time an eighth grader acts like a 9th grader. They stare blankly, say nothing, and make mild throaty grunt-like purring noises.
The only thing harder than teaching them graphing is getting them to walk across campus faster than a snail. Did you know that a map is really just a pretty graph? Well they are. Last week I had students make a graph of how to get to school from home. I told them to make a "map" because "graph" sounds too scary. Look at this one, graph 1 of 2.
They know how to read graphs, but usually forget that they know how to. Often you get that "light turning on" expression when they remember. Some students need lots of help and direction. It's hard for me to remember this is mostly new to them. My sons first graph was early elementary when they were given a bunch of M&M's and counted how many of each color and made a graph...how cool is that!
Even in May, after their 20th graph, they still get mixed up and call their data table a graph.
"A well made graph is a thing of beauty" . Below is one of my favorite all time graphs. It's called an H-R diagram. In its simplest form it compares a stars' brightness with its temperature. The one shown below is more, its a work of art. It shows color and size, it lists how long the stars will "live". It shows a wonderful unity of mother nature, or if you prefer, God's design (both of these are just looking at the same thing from different reference points).
Even if you are not a fan of Stars or Science, you can appreciate the beauty of this graph.
I hope this helps,
Love to Teach and Teach with Passion
Remember...It's not Magic, It's Science