Media Literacy: Bars & Pie Charts, Oh My !

Last semester, as part of my teaching assignment with the Assisted Study Program, I was providing an English Business Technology course for students who were enrolled in a Construction program.  EBT4O is intended as an open level course. The students in the construction program ranged in level from essential to college bound. They received a total of four credits. Two credits for their construction work, building a house/cottage, one credit was for in class construction training, and the last for the EBT4O.

I modified the content and assignments to better reflect their range of ability and the subject matter.  In order to provide them with some practical application I used  Open Office to introduce bar graphs and pie charts. The content came fromEasy, No-Brainer 3-Step Roofing Estimator to relate it to their work in construction class.

One of the problems I faced was making sure that the bar graph and pie chart wa easy to apply.  The default setting on the Open Office graphing graphics is confusing for those unfamiliar with  such application. After checking with a math teacher I was able to determine the basic setting that most people would require.  I saved that setting in the lesson so that all the student would need to do is copy and past the sample graph and then insert the correct information.

In learning a range of computer and media literacy skills, I have found students acquire skills and knowledge more effectively when you use a template. If the content can be related to specific knowledge and skills that are subject related then it re-enforces those computer & media literacy skills.  Note that that this lesson  and instructions on pie charts can be adapted & applied to different subjects.

I have included download links  both the lesson and the instruction sheet. Open Office is free. It can be used at home and at school  ( students will need to have it loaded on their personal laptops or the school board needs to install it on their network).

graphing-instruction-pie-graph1    EBT4O_L4 Pie Charts

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