Let’s Get Line Graphing! Displaying Data in a Line Graph

Contributor: Victoria Surface. Lesson ID: 10133

In this lesson, you will explore how to display, read, and interpret data in a line graph, using educational videos, online math problems, printable activities, graphing software, and a fun project!



learning style
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Did you know that meteorologists use math all the time for their work? They use all kinds of math, and often they use graphs. Graphs are important because they are used to answer questions about the weather, and track changes in weather patterns over time. One specific type of graph they use is a line graph. In this lesson, you will explore how to display, read, and interpret data in a line graph. You will use educational videos, online math problems, printable activities, graphing software, and a fun project!

A line graph is a series of connected points that displays data or information that changes over time.A trend is a general direction in which something is developing or changing. Line graphs are used to display these trends.

1. Let’s begin with reading line graphs. Watch the following Reading line graphs | Applying mathematical reasoning | Pre-Algebra | Khan Academy video for an introduction:

2. Now explore Interpreting Line Graphs. Watch the following video to understand how to interpret line graphs:


3. Now it’s time to learn how to display data on a line graph. Watch the following video to learn how to create a line graph by hand.

Answer the following questions as you watch the video:

  • What are line graphs good for?

  • What are the elements or parts of a line graph?

  • What is the title for?

  • What is the Y-axis (vertical axis) used for?

  • What is the X-axis (horizontal axis) used for?


4. Now let’s take a look at how to display the same data in a line graph using Microsoft Excel.


5. Now that you have explored how to display data on a line graph, you are ready for an assignment.

You are an economist studying the trends in gasoline prices from 2000-2007. You are presenting your findings to an audience, and need to present the information in a visual way.

Create a line graph. Draw the line graph by hand using graph paper or visit the following link from NCES Kids' Zone to create the line graph online: Create a Graph Classic.

Use the data below for your graph:

Year Average Cost of One Gallon of Gasoline
2000 $1.57
2001 $1.10
2002 $1.46
2003 $1.59
2004 $2.03
2005 $2.25
2006 $3.30
2007 $3.00


6. Answer the following questions based on the line graph you created for the average cost of a gallon of gasoline:

  • What was the best year for the average price of gasoline? Remember, we want gasoline prices to be low.

  • What was the worst year for the average price of gasoline?

  • Between what years was the greatest amount of change?

  • Between what years was the least amount of change?

  • What trends do you see for the average price of gasoline?

  • Can you make a prediction for the average price of gasoline in 2008?

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