Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the Graphs Lesson Plan

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Graphs, and addresses standards about displaying data on graphs and understanding the differences between bar graphs, pictographs, line graphs, and pie charts. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.


Display different types of graphs and charts. There are many good ones at Britannica KidsAsk:

  • Why do people use graphs?
  • Why would a graph be more useful than numbers and words alone?


  • Read aloud the description on the Graphs topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding.
  • Assign Related Reading. Have students read one of the following articles: “Famous Faces” or “Plus/Minus.” Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Assign the Graphs Quiz, prompting students to apply essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.


Students express what they learned about graphs while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs. 

  • Make-a-Movie: Choose a specific type of graph, and produce a commercial advertising how it’s used, how it’s made, and why it would be a helpful tool. 
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map identifying different types of graphs, their features, and real life examples of when you might use each type. 
  • Creative Coding: Code a sorting game challenging players to identify traits of different types of graphs. 
  • Primary Source Activity: Analyze the graphs showing W.E.B. Du Bois’s research about economic and social conditions of African Americans in different cities. Cite details to answer the accompanying questions.

More to Explore

Math Snacks: Creature Caverns: This game challenges players to analyze patterns in tables and graphs.

Teacher Support Resources:


Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments