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Handling data - line graphs

This activity addresses several National Curriculum (England and Wales) requirements at Key Stage 2 and covers the following Learning Objectives defined by the National Numeracy Strategy Guidelines: 

Year 6 Spring, Unit 7-8, Handling Data. Learning Objectives 115 and 117.
Solve a problem by representing, extracting and interpreting data in tables, graphs, charts and diagrams, including those generated by a computer, for example: line graphs (e.g. for distance/time, for a multiplication table, a conversion graph, a graph of pairs of numbers adding to 8). 

Teachers in Scotland will find the activity supports Mathematics 5 -14
Information Handling, level D 

Strands: Collecting Information
Organising Information
Displaying Information
Interpreting information 

The activity requires pupils to interpret data presented in graph form and use it to answer a series of questions. 

The data has been drawn from the RSPB/BTO report The State of the UK's Birds 1999 which illustrates that the populations of many of the UKs birds of prey have shown a significant recovery over the last 20 years. This upward trend reflects the success of conservation measures, especially the banning of pesticides and a reduction in illegal killing, which bought many species to the edge of extinction in the 20th century. The rate of decline of individual species indicated in the Student Activity Sheet reflects population trends from 1970 to 1998. 

If pupils show particular interest in this activity they might like to take part in Wildsquare, the children's wildlife survey being run by the junior section of the RSPB. 01767 680551. 

Resources: Student Data Sheet; Student Activity Sheet 

Age Range: Key Stage 2, year 6. 

The Activity 

Working from the line graph provided on the Student Data Sheet, pupils are asked a series of questions that require them to extract information from the graph. Question 10 asks them to extract a particular set of data and to plot a graph of their own, either on paper or using ICT.