Dynamic Displays of Data



 WebQuest for the creation and use of graphs and charts.


Designed by

Jason Prizzi


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Charts and graphs are used every day to visually communicate information.  Many times statistical information can be more easily understood when it is expressed as a chart or a graph.  Observing charts and graphs enable users to come to conclusions about the data and see trends that may not otherwise be apparent.




After learning the basics of charts and graphs, you and your group members will create some “real world” examples.  Each member of your team will choose a different career and produce charts and graphs specific to that industry.  In addition, each member will analyze the charts and discuss how they can be used.  Finally, each student will produce a MS Word document that includes all their work.



1.    Learn the Basics: All students will visit the locations below to learn some of the basics about graphs.  This information will be used to answer questions #1 – 6 in the corresponding       worksheet.

    · Advantages, Disadvantages, and Purposes to Using Charts and Graphs.

     · Types of Charts and Graphs.

     · Choosing the Right Graph.

     · Parts of a Graph.


2.    Choose a Career: You should be in groups of 3 or 4 students and each student needs to pick a different career from the choices below.  You may choose a vocation that is not on the chart, but it will involve more work on your part because you will have to find sites to use for data on your own.  Also, if you are choosing a career other than the four choices, it must be OK’d by your instructor.


Marketing Rep:  You are a marketing representative for a music company and you need to give a presentation.  Your presentation will need some displays of data to be persuasive.

Stock Broker: You are a stock broker and you need to show clients a presentation.  Your presentation will need some graphical displays in order to “see” the trends and hopefully gain new clients.

Sports Announcer: You are announcing game one of the World Series and you need to know the statistics of the players.  In order to get a visual representation, you create some graphs and charts.

Weather Forecaster: As a forecaster, you will need to gather weather data and analyze it through graphical displays.  You want to create displays for television viewers.


3.    Research: Research the information that is specific to your career by using the links below.  Use whatever data corresponds to your career and interests you most.  Keep in mind, you are required to create a line graph, bar graph and a pie chart and certain types of data are better suited for each type.


Data Sources

Marketing Representative: Market share by music type

Market share by country

Album Expenses

Stock Broker: Corporate Window

Sports Announcer: Major League Baseball

Weather Forecaster: Weather Data


4.    Create the Graphical Displays: Once you have identified the data that you want to use to create a graph, you must transfer the data into a spreadsheet program.  To make the graph, open the spreadsheet (Excel).  Go to the drop down menu from “Insert” on the toolbar and click on “Graph”.  Then follow the program cues to include all the necessary parts of a chart or graph.  Remember, each person is required to create a line graph, a bar graph and a pie chart.


How do I transfer data from the source to the spreadsheet?

  1. Minimize the Internet browser and open the spreadsheet application. 
  2. Maximize the Internet browser and highlight all the data that you want to use for one of the graphs.  Copy the data by pressing the “Ctrl” button and the letter “C” simultaneously (or use “Edit” on the toolbar).
  3. Maximize the spreadsheet and click on the top left cell (A-1).  Paste the data into the spreadsheet by pressing the “Ctrl” button and the letter “V” simultaneously.  If the data appeared, graph it!  If the data did not appear, try steps 2-3 again.


5.    Summarize a team member's line graph: Have each member of the team write a paragraph about a team member's line graph.  Describe the data displayed and the relationship between the variables.  For this part, there is space provided on your webquest worksheet.




Your grade will be calculated by the accuracy of your answers to the questions and the overall quality of the graphical displays that you create.  Here is how your grade will calculated:






Outstanding accuracy and quality of graphs.  Excellent teamwork and cooperation.

Very good quality, but some mistakes and/or minor problems in graphs.  Good teamwork and cooperation.

Satisfactory quality, but some fundamental parts missing or incomplete.  Teamwork and cooperation slightly below average.

Poor quality work, which show little or no effort.  Teamwork and cooperation lacking significantly.



Congratulations!  You have completed this lesson and have become proficient in the use of graphs and their creation using a spreadsheet program.  In addition, you are better at interpreting existing graphs and drawing conclusions, which are useful skills in school and in the “real world”.