Given a real-world numerical or categorical data set, choose and create an appropriate graphical representation.


Clarification 1: Graphical representations are limited to histograms, bar charts, circle graphs, line plots, box plots and stem-and-leaf plots.
General Information
Subject Area: Mathematics (B.E.S.T.)
Grade: 7
Strand: Data Analysis and Probability
Date Adopted or Revised: 08/20
Status: State Board Approved

Benchmark Instructional Guide

Connecting Benchmarks/Horizontal Alignment


Terms from the K-12 Glossary

  • Bar Graph 
  • Box Plot
  • Categorical 
  • Data Circle 
  • Graph 
  • Histogram 
  • Line Plot
  • Stem-and-Leaf Plot


Vertical Alignment

Previous Benchmarks

Next Benchmarks


Purpose and Instructional Strategies

In grade 6, students created box plots and histograms to represent numerical data. In grade 7, students must choose and create an appropriate graphical representation for a given numerical or categorical data set. In grade 8, students will construct a scatter plot or a line graph for a given set of bivariate numerical data. 
  • Students were introduced to bar charts (bar graphs) in grade 3, students may need to be reintroduced to this graphical representation. 
  • Graphical representations of categorical data sets are helpful for showing trends that can be analyzed and making comparisons of categories, among different items, or items over time periods. They visually show the mode of the data and, at a quick glance, show categories in a set of data that dominate others. Depending on the graphical representation chosen, either the frequency (number of items) or relative frequency (percentage) for each category can be illustrated. 
  • Histograms (for numerical data) and box plots (for categorical data) work well in grouping large sets of data to be easily compared, but do not allow viewers access to each individual data point if needed for other calculations such as the mean. 
  • Circle graphs are not ideal when too many categories are included as it is difficult to distinguish the difference in sizes of the sectors. Bar graph (or bar charts) make a similar comparison but the heights of the bars make the comparison more easily distinguishable. 
  • Stem-and-leaf plots and line plots are useful in displaying the shape of a numerical data set, easily identifying the mode and outliers, and they contain all of the values in the data set allowing for additional calculations such as the mean. They are not ideal when there is a large volume of data since it is time consuming to create and becomes difficult to read or interpret.


Common Misconceptions or Errors

  • Students may not distinguish between histograms (numerical data) and bar charts, also called bar graphs (categorical data).


Strategies to Support Tiered Instruction

  • Instruction includes displaying histograms and bar charts side by side and allow students to compare and contrast each one to help them understand the difference between the two, and what information we can learn from each one. 
  • Teacher provides a graphic organizer for each type of data display for students to reference in the future. 
  • Teacher co-creates examples of both bar graphs and histograms with students, explaining step-by-step how to create them and how/why they are different.


Instructional Tasks

Instructional Task 1 (MTR.2.1)
The following data shows the grams of protein in 21 protein bars.
{12, 14, 11, 8, 10, 8, 14, 8, 8, 12, 10, 12, 15, 11, 15, 20, 10, 15, 12, 21, 20}
  • Part A. Create two different graphical representations of the data using histograms, bar charts, circle graphs, line plots, box plots or stem-and-leaf plots.
  • Part B. Compare and contrast the two displays and determine which is more appropriate. Explain your reasoning.


Instructional Items

Instructional Item 1
Select an appropriate type of display for each of the following situations.
  • the salaries of all 40 employees at a small company
  • the salaries of all 250 people at a mid-sized company
  • the distribution of colors in a bag of colored candies
  • the number of siblings students in the 7th grade class have


*The strategies, tasks and items included in the B1G-M are examples and should not be considered comprehensive.

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
1200400: Foundational Skills in Mathematics 9-12 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
1205040: M/J Grade 7 Mathematics (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
1205050: M/J Accelerated Mathematics Grade 7 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2020, 2020 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
1204000: M/J Foundational Skills in Mathematics 6-8 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
7812020: Access M/J Grade 7 Mathematics (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 - 2019, 2019 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
MA.7.DP.1.AP.5: Given a data set, select an appropriate graphical representation (histogram, bar chart, or line plot).

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