Numbers don’t lie – graphs do

Title separator

Vocabulary - describing graphs

describing graphs in English

LESSON OVERVIEW

The lesson plan is based on a TED-Ed video titled “How to spot a misleading graph” by Lea Gaslowitz. The aim of the lesson is to teach students vocabulary and structures they can use while describing graphs in English. In addition, thanks to the video, students will learn how to spot inconsistent data and distorted charts.

B2 / Upper Intermediate
C1 / Advanced
60 minStandard LessonUnlimited Plan

VOCABULARY

The worksheet starts with exercises on vocabulary. Firstly, students need to complete the table with verbs for going up and down. Secondly, there is an exercise on structures that we should use when describing graphs in English and prepositions that go with verbs and nouns. The third and fourth exercises are practical ones. First, students have to write a description of a line graph given. Next, they work in pairs – one person describes a graph and the other should draw that graph, then they change roles. Graphs to that task are available at the end of the Teacher’s Version pdf.

VIDEO AND DISCUSSION

Then, students watch the video and complete sentences with words they hear in it. In the following task, they have to match these words with their synonyms. The last activity consists questions about issues from the video. You can give your students time to collect ideas to answer the questions and then do an open discussion.

EXTRA TASK

Moreover, there is an extra task at the end of the Teacher’s Version. Give misleading graphs to your students and ask them to analyse them and tell what is wrong with them and how data is misrepresented there.

WORKSHEETS

Comments

Title separator

Leave a Reply

  1. abc123uandme

    Hi!
    Very useful lesson.
    Could you add the answer key to what is wrong with the misleading graphs?

    1. Stan

      See here: https://www.frontporchmath.com/topics/probability-statistics/graphs/misleading-graphs/

      1. paulgroupdynamics@gmail.com

        I can’t see the explanation about the Texas gun crimes graph or uninsured Americans V unemployment graph on the website you have given. Could you post further details?

        1. Stan

          Ok, so the ‘gun deaths in Florida’ graph is upside down so it looks as if the number of deaths dropped after the law was enacted but in reality it’s quite the opposite. It’s visible once the graph is drawn properly. The other one is wrong in many ways: distorted scale, 2 y-axes not proportionally spaced, drawing it to suggest correlation. If you look for more examples, check the page linked in my comment above – there’s plenty of examples there.

          1. paulgroupdynamics@gmail.com

            Cheers Stan!

  2. Alice Cz.

    Looks very interesting. I’m gonna try it with my students tomorrow.
    Btw the topic is really fascinating, maybe you could try statistics? And How they can mislead us!

    1. Justa

      Alice, let us know how it’s worked with your students!
      Statistics? Yes, why not? We’ll think about it 🙂

  3. Alicja

    It did go well. Although my students are kind of lazy, showing them how they could be misled really interested them.
    It’s so funny/sad to see how Fox TV doesn’t like Obama that they would even distort the graphs to show the huge unemployment during his term office. However, TVP also did that …
    Long story short, I liked your all lessons so much that I decide to be a patron 🙂 You don’t know how much time you save me!

    1. Justa

      That is exactly why we should verify the info we get every day and check sources.

      We’re really happy our materials save you time and hope you will be satisfied with our premium content!

  4. Tatti Uust

    Thank you so much!! Inredibly useful!

    1. Justa

      Happy to hear that 🙂

  5. Natalia

    I love this lesson plan! The video is great and in my opinion it’s a topic that has to be widely discussed. The final task of analyzing the graphs is a perfect way to close the lesson and always triggers interesting discussions.

    (Btw if you skip the vocabulary part or assign it as HW, it makes for a perfect 60′ class:) )

    1. Justa

      Natalia, thank you so much for sharing your feedback with us 🙂

  6. Michael Morris

    what happened to the sample description of the ABC graph?

    1. Justa

      Hi Michael! There is no sample description for that task provided.

  7. Andrew Forster

    Could you include a description of the graph in ex 3 in the teacher’s version please?
    Cheers, great lesson!

    1. Justa

      Hi, Andrew! We’re happy you like the lesson! There is no description as students might come up with various ways how to approach and describe the graph, but we’ll give it some more consideration and perhaps add a sample description there 🙂

  8. conordaly

    Very good lesson plan, definitely not 90 minutes though in my opinion. 60 minutes max.

    1. Justa

      We’re happy to hear that the lesson is useful 🙂 Regarding the lesson time, it might depend on many factors (individual student or group, students’ engagament, etc.), however, after some consideration, we’ve changed it to 60 minutes as it might be more accurate for most classes.

Browse other materials recommended for you

Title separator
ESL lesson about subscriptions
B2 / Upper Intermediate
Standard Lesson 60 min
Loading

Members only! Subscription models

Business Lifestyle

With this lesson, students talk about subscription models, explore vocabulary and discuss their personal experiences and opinions. They also watch a video featuring advice on how to manage subscriptions and discuss real-life services.

speaking lesson about career change
B1 / Intermediate | B2 / Upper Intermediate
Speaking Class 45 min / 60 min
Loading

Changing careers

Business

With this speaking lesson, students navigate the territory of career changes. They discuss job market trends, as well as benefits and challenges of transitioning careers. They also talk about important skills and watch a video about a woman who changed careers.

B2 / Upper Intermediate | C1 / Advanced
Critical Reading Club 30 min / 45 min
Loading

The golden age of podcasting

Business

Explore the fascinating field of technology and podcasts with this lesson! After reading an article, students discuss the use of AI in podcasts, practise vocabulary to talk about the topic and discuss their ideas if they launched a 100% AI-generated podcast.

job interview tips
B2 / Upper Intermediate
Flipped Lesson 60 min
Loading

Ace your next job interview

Business

Dive into the realm of job interviews with this lesson. Students practise job interview vocabulary, watch a video for tips, talk about what can make an interview successful and learn about the STAR approach for responding to interview questions.

digital business vocabulary
C1 / Advanced | C2 / Proficiency
Standard Lesson 60 min
Loading

The digital Revolut(ion)

Business

With this lesson, students talk about online services and learn vocabulary related to the topic. They also discuss their own experiences, watch a video about a successful neobank, and discuss the features of digital businesses.

talking about work models
B2 / Upper Intermediate | C1 / Advanced
Standard Lesson 60 min
Loading

Office, remote or hybrid?

Business

With this up-to-date lesson, students discuss work life after lockdown and practise vocabulary to talk about workplace changes. They also watch a news video about companies changing the way they work and discuss different work models.

ESL lesson on nepotism
C1 / Advanced | C2 / Proficiency
Speaking Class 45 min / 60 min
Loading

When familial meets professional

Business General

In this lesson, students reflect deeply on work-family dynamics, explore nuances of nepotism, and enrich vocabulary through engaging discussions. Students also listen to excerpts from a podcast to spark critical thinking.

collocations related to business and investment
C1 / Advanced
Standard Lesson 60 min
Loading

Would you invest in a franchise?

Business

With this lesson, students master key collocations to talk about business and investment, analyze the franchise business model, and enhance listening skills with an informative video about McDonald’s.

B1 / Intermediate | B2 / Upper Intermediate
Standard Lesson 60 min
Loading

As per my last email…

Business

Dive into the intriguing world of emailing and talk about what annoys people the most. With this lesson, students expand their vocabulary, express irritation, and analyze real-life situations.

Show more lessons

Questions

Title separator

Is there a minimum subscription period if I choose a monthly subscription?

No, there’s no minimum required number of subscription months. You can cancel any time you want. Basically, you can sign up and then cancel your subscription the next day, which will mean you have access for 1 month and won’t be charged again.

What currencies can I pay in for my subscription?

Our default currency is USD (American dollar), but you can also pay in EUR (euro), GBP (British pound sterling) or PLN (Polish zloty). You can change the currency you want to pay in at the Pricing page before selecting a subscription plan.

How can I edit an e-lesson plan?

You can get your own editable copy of an e-lesson plan and make changes to it. To do so, either (1) make a copy of it on your Google Drive (preferable method) or (2) download it in a Powerpoint format (but formatting might be a bit off so we can’t guarantee that it will work well).

Read more FAQ
Title separator

ESL Brains

Forgot password?
or continue with