4 - Reading Graphic Text



Most of the things we read every day have more than just words in them. We have to be able to get information from pictures, diagrams, charts, graphs, and maps; in other words, we have to know how to read Graphic Texts.


In order to read Graphic Texts you need to understand how visual elements contribute to the meaning of the text.


What does that mean?


It means understanding things like:

  • Why certain words are bolded in a brochure
  • The difference between the Y-Axis and X-Axis of a graph
  • The effectiveness of clipart in a menu
  • How the size and shape of a font can communicate to the reader


The list is endless.


The best thing you can do is to learn through practice. 




  • Keep a notepad with you as you explore the following online lessons and activities.
  • Make notes on what you struggled with and/or the kinds of strategies you used to read graphic text.


Menu of online tutorials and activities:

  1. Bar Graphs Activity - http://socrates.bmcc.cuny.edu/cpe/bars.html
  2. Line Graphs Activity - http://socrates.bmcc.cuny.edu/cpe/line.html
  3. Circle Graphs Activity - http://socrates.bmcc.cuny.edu/cpe/pie.html
  4. Reading a map - http://www.english-zone.com/reading/map01.html
  5. Reading a chart - http://english-zone.com/reading/charts-01.html
  6. More tutorials on reading bar & line graphs http://www.wtamu.edu/academic/anns/mps/math/mathlab/beg_algebra/beg_alg_tut9_bar.htm



Discussion Board Task

On a separate piece of paper, finish these sentence starters.


  1. When reading graphic text, I try to….

  2. I find it difficult to read graphic text because…

  3. One thing that helps me read graphic text is…


Go to the 4.0 Graphic Text Discussion and post one or more of these finished sentences.  Respond (agree…disagree…add information) to at least one other post.


Online Quiz

Try your hand at answering multiple-choice questions based on a graphic text. Complete the quiz titled, 4.0 Nutritional Labels.




Go to Workshop 5.0 Mechanics