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  • Writer's pictureJolene Pappas

How to make basic graphs on Google Sheets

*This post introduces a video that explains basic Google Sheet graphing. The post itself doesn't explain it.

Graphs are important parts of labs. In most of the labs I run in my classes, whether hands-on or simulated, students will at some point make a visual representation of their data. My students typically enter high school able to make a graph by hand (even if they are still unsure about what type of graph for a given situation). Most, however, are unfamiliar with using spreadsheets for graphing. To introduce them to this skill, I have a lesson that introduces Google Sheets (we use Chromebooks and do not have Excel access at school). Students then have the option of making their graphs digitally as the year goes on. As we move to submitting more materials online, digital graphs have become more convenient (although I still accept inserted pictures of hand-drawn graphs).

For Biology Simulations and my own classes, I have started converting assignments that were originally designed to be done on paper into Google Docs that are formatted to be completed and submitted digitally. Many of the simulation worksheets ask students to insert a graph for their data. For a student completing an assignment on a Doc, it makes sense to use Sheets for their graph. To help my students, I made a video introduction to making these graphs. While we are doing in-person learning (this is being written in August 2020, which is why that statement makes sense), I am planning to move towards videos to implement more self-paced lessons and create material that students can refer back to.

As many of the Biology Simulation Docs ask students to insert a graph, I'm making the video publicly available. The target audience is 9th-grade Biology, but it could work for anyone who is just starting to use Google Sheets for graphing.

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