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ESOL Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Graph and table writing

Teacher: Peter McCoy


Curriculum area: Cross curricular

Year: 11-13

Duration: 2 weeks

Language focus

  • The language of graph/table writing

Learning outcomes

  • To learn the vocabulary, language structures and format needed for writing about graphs and tables of information.

Teaching and learning sequence


The aim of this unit is to provide a model for teachers to 'teach' the skills, techniques and structures needed for writing about graphs and tables of information. See further BackgroundNotes (Word 25KB) .

There are four steps to these guidelines for teachers. These are accompanied by two sets of student notes: What examiners are looking for (Word 37KB) in graph writing in an exam and How to write an answer (Word 52KB) to a graph question.

Step 1

  • Discuss the aims (Word 32KB) of the programme.
  • Look at different examples of graphs and tables (identify / label / discuss).
  •  Look at and discuss the "language" of graph writing ( Table1 (Word 93KB) and Table3 (Word 8KB) ).
  •  Look at the structure of paragraph writing ( Table2 (Word 2MB) ).
  • Set homework writing (choice of tables / graphs depending on level / year group). - Point to the use of table 1.

Step 2

  • Mark homework (individually or group).
  •  The outcome must be a critical analysis of the "nuts and bolts" of graph writing.
  • Write a class model (together) using the best examples - analyse and discuss.
  •  Set homework writing (choice depending on level).

Step 3

  •  Follow step two - mark as a group using best examples to write a class model.
  •  Look for good examples of comparative language and strong conclusions.
  •  Discuss the need to develop strong structure and effective language.
  •  Analyse the four paragraph model and its use to develop a strong structure.

Step 4

  • A test using an example from a previous exam question or a formal writing situation (non-testing) allowing students access to tables 1, 2, and 3.
  • Evaluate - get students to look at writing from Step 1, 2 and 4. What development have they made? Strengths / weaknesses?
  • Set further work and/or repeat Steps 2 and 3 using new examples if more are needed.

Published on: 09 Jan 2018