What’s Going on in the Graph?

Resources for parents and teachers

What’s Going on in the Graph?

What's Going on in the Graph?




Educational quality


Ease of use



  • Real world graphing applications
  • Allows students to share their thinking with students everywhere


  • Individual activities by graph-- not a curriculum

The New York Times publishes a weekly feature called, What’s Going on in This Graph? : 

Students are encouraged to examine the featured graph, answer 3 big questions, and discuss them in the comments section-

  • What do you notice?If you make a claim, tell us what you noticed that supports your claim.
  • What do you wonder? What are you curious about that comes from what you notice in the graphs?
  • What’s going on in these graphs? Write a catchy headline that captures the graphs’ main idea.

Then, at the end of the week, the paper publishes the ‘reveal,’ to provide some feedback and more info about the graph.

These graphs/discussions range in difficulty, but tend to be most appropriate for middle and high school students. I think there are a variety of ways you can use the graphs/discussions as a nice supplement to data analysis instruction.

The NYT has even provided a webinar to help teachers get started:

They also publish a free weekly newsletter and host  live-moderated discussions on Wednesdays.


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