• CC-Basics pages 48 - 57



  • Identify graphic documents and their functions

  • Interpret information from simple charts and graphs

  • Analyze information presented in a variety of graphic formats

Key Concept

  • Graphic documents use a variety of visual formants to present factual information.


Tier 2 Concrete
Tier 3 Bar Graphs
Pie Charts
Test Words Analyze

Writing Practice

  • Use Context Clues

  • Analyze Text Connections

Before Lesson

This lesson requires that students be familiar with data delivered in a visual format. Draw a smiley face emoticon and a circle with a diagonal slash on the board and ask students the meaning of these graphics. Ask students what graphics they have seen today. Encourage volunteers to draw on the board a graphic they have recently seen and explain its meaning.


Explain to students that some information is presented in a way that relies heavily on images and symbols, with very little text. A graphic sign, for example, may depend almost entirely on drawings to communicate its message. In a restaurant, for instance, students would recognize the graphic signs for the men’s and women’s restrooms. Students may be familiar with road signs, maps, and posters whose images contain key information. Ask students to identify one type of graphic document that they see frequently.

Guided Practice

  • Graphic Documents
  • Analyze Visual Information

Core Skill

Analyze Visual Information: Call on students to share what they have written in their notebooks about a graphic document they have seen, its meaning, and its strengths and weaknesses. Continue in a similar fashion with the next exercise, in which students determine the purpose of visual images presented on page 52.

Use Context Clues: To reinforce the importance of context clues, invite students to create artwork, such as a poster, in which the graphic message and the context clues are a mismatch. They may work with the images presented here or find others. An example might be a sign communicating “Danger: highly flammable material” positioned on a forest scene.


Analyze Text Connections: Help students whose first language is not English to connect with the graphic documents by replacing the text in some of the documents with the same message in their first language. Post the translated signs for classmates to identify.

Interpret Visual Information: Direct students to notice advertisements that use very little, if any, text on their daily commute. Call on volunteers to describe the most effective ads that used the least amount of text. Explain what symbols conveyed the message most effectively, the role of context clues, and what the viewer is asked to infer from the ad’s message.

Lesson Review