Schottenbauer Publishing

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Use of Graphs in Open-Ended Projects

Traditional classes offer students focused instruction in the use of graphs, including identifying a specific topic area, providing questions which guide graph-reading and analysis, and teaching techniques for identifying equations. Graphs can also be used for open-ended projects, which provide students with more opportunity for choosing their own topics, collecting their own graphs, and synthesizing their own answers in writing. These open-ended projects can be designed for almost any traditional elementary, high school, or college/university class, including math, science, language arts, physical education, music, and art.

Graph book series from Schottenbauer Publishing provide ample opportunities for open-ended projects using graphs. These include multi-volume book series on specific topic areas, as well as anthologies of 28 graphs excerpted from these offerings.

The following are three examples of open-ended projects using graphs: 

Example 1

Students in class might be asked to select 2 or 3 volumes of graphs on a topic of their choice, and write a 10-page paper based on a subset of graphs in the books. Students may have a few weeks in which to complete the project, which should include citations from encyclopedias and traditional reference books to support their hypotheses and conclusions. 

Example 2

During an entrance exam to a private school, students might be asked to use two hours to peruse an anthology of 28 graphs, and write a short essay describing a set of conclusions based on some or all of the graphs in the book. 

Example 3

A homeschooler might use an anthology of graphs as the basis for a project in which the student identifies equations for the different graphs, and then writes a paper comparing and contrasting mathematical functions across different situations encountered in the natural world.

Schottenbauer Publishing features over 8,000 graphs, collected into multi-volume series and anthologies in the following categories:

Book Series with Original Graphs

Anthologies of 28 Graphs
  • The World in a Graph
  • Sports [Multiple Volumes Available]
  • Transportation
  • Construction
  • Music
  • Play

Several sample graphs from Schottenbauer Publishing are shown below:

The graphs above demonstrate but a few of the types of data available in science lab manuals from Schottenbauer Publishing.  Examples include:
  • Physics
    • Video Analysis
    • Force
    • Acceleration
    • Rotational Motion
    • Power
    • Current
    • Voltage
    • Light Intensity
    • Magnetic Field Strength
    • Temperature
    • Sound
    • Sound Level
    • Air Pressure
    • Gas Pressure
    • Wind Speed
    • Water Flow Rate
  • Biophysics
    • Joint Angles
    • Electromyogram
    • Electrocardiogram
    • Blood Pressure
    • Pulse
    • Lung Capacity
    • Breathing Rate

A full listing of graph topics from Schottenbauer Publishing, indexed by book series and data type, are available in a Teacher Resource Guide from the publisher. Additional information is also available on the blogs Science and Math Education and Sport Science Education. A list of free blogs with sample graphs, discussion questions, and videos is available in the article Application of Graphs in Education on the blog Graphs in Education.

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