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How to Create a Bar Chart (Mathematics Lesson)

Creating a Bar Chart

A bar chart is a useful way to present data.

Imagine a teacher asked their class what their favorite color was.

Favorite colors of class

How to Create a Bar Chart

Creating a bar chart is easy.

For each color, we draw a bar as high as the number of students who prefer that color.

An Example Question

Draw a bar chart to show the favorite colors of the class.

Step 1

Find how many students prefer each color.

It may help to make a frequency table to show how many students prefer each color.

Show how many students prefer each color. Make a frequency table.

We can create a bar chart from this frequency table.

Step 2

Draw a horizontal axis. List the colors along this axis.

The horizontal axis of the bar chart. The colors are listed along the axis. The axis is labelled.

Don't forget: Label the axis. In our example, the axis shows the class's favorite color, so we have labelled the axis Favorite color.

Step 3

Draw a vertical axis. This axis will show the number of students who prefer each color.

Choose a suitable scale for the axis. From the frequency table in Step 1, we see that the number of students who prefer each color is either 10 or 15. We label the axis up to 15, going 5 at a time.

The vertical axis of the bar chart is added.

Don't forget: Label the axis. In our example, the axis shows the number of students who prefer each color, so we have labelled the axis Number of students.

Now we draw the bars.

Step 4

10 students favorite color is Blue.

We draw a bar of height 10 above Blue.

A bar of height 10 is drawn above the color blue.
Step 5

15 students favorite color is Red.

We draw a bar of height 15 above Red.

A bar of height 15 is drawn above the color red.
Step 6

10 students favorite color is Yellow.

We draw a bar of height 10 above Yellow.

A bar of height 10 is drawn above the color yellow.
Step 7

The bar chart should be given a title. A title is a sentence which describes what the bar chart is showing.

A title is added to the bar chart.

A Real Example of How to Create a Bar Chart

The slider below gives another example of creating a bar chart.

Note

What Is a Bar Chart?

A bar chart (or bar graph) is a chart which uses bars to present data.

The height of each bar shows how often (the frequency) each value appears in the data.