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MAT 06 – Misleading Graphs
You can download this activity and the teacher solutions as a rich text file (RTF) at the bottom of the page.
In task A students investigate the effect of using scale to influence the way information is presented in a graph. In task B students use this knowledge to present the same information persuasively for two opposing audiences.
Copy of student worksheet
FIGURE 1 Male Assault and Number of Male School Teachers
1. Find evidence in the article and or graph to support the opening statement that “A decline in the number of male teachers is being blamed for rising youth violence.”
2. By carefully reading the values from the graph in FIGURE 1 above, show the same information in the graph below.
FIGURE 2 Male Assault and Number of Male School Teachers
3. Can you think of reasons other than the decrease in male teachers that could have an effect on the apparent rise in some male crime?
4. What changes do you notice in the way the information looks in this graph?
5. Why does the information look different?
6. Why do you think the newspaper chose to use the scale that it did for this article.
1. The information below shows the number of victims for particular crimes from 1999 to 2008. Imagine you were the Minister for Public Safety. Which version of the graph would you publish and why.
Figure 3: Incidence of Murder and Attempted Murder
Figure 4: Incidence of Murder and Attempted Murder
2. Use the grid overleaf to graph the following information of the Number of Victims of Blackmail and Extortion. Graph how the information may look if you were:
a) The Minister for Public Safety b) Citizens for a Greater Police Presence.
This page last updated 12 November 2013