The aim of this and subsequent exercises in this series of material on the visual presentation and interpretation of data and diagrams is to help familiarize students with doing Task 1 in the academic writing module in the IELTS exam.


Many students find the analysis and description of graphs and other diagramatic data rather daunting. This exercise is a basic introduction to line graphs.

Teaching tips

The material can be used as an introduction to line graphs for students who have never analyzed data in graph form before.

Give the students the exercise and ask them in pairs/groups to choose the appropriate answers. The length of time you allocate to this will depend on the class.

  • When you have checked the answers, ask individual students in the class to identify a line which rises/ fluctuates/shows a rising trend,etc to recycle vocabulary.
  • You may want to introduce some new vocabulary if you think the students can handle it, or emphasize vocabulary elicited form the class.
  • Choose a sequence of the mini graphs: for example b, a, d, h, c, i, a and so on.
  • Read out a description and ask the students to write down the letters of the graphs that match the descriptions. You may want to repeat graphs and make the dictation as long or short as the level of the class will allow.
  • Ask students to check their answers in pairs or groups.
  • Ask the students to write their own sentences without looking at the descriptions in the exercise using the sequence you have dictated.
  • As a variation or an additional step, ask the students to write their own sentences - say 7 – 10 - (depending on the level of the class) and then give their sentences to another pair/group to work out the sequence of graphs used.
  • Make sure the students write the sequence they have used on a separate paper or on the back of the sheet.
  • For homework give the students a list of noun phrases, for example: bicycle sales/ bicycle purchases/ sales of bicycles/purchases of bicycles/the number of bicycles sold/ purchased and ask the students to write a range of sentences using these phrases and draw the line graphs. The complexity of the vocabulary you use will depend on the class.

Answer Key

A) ii/iv, B) ii/iii, C) ii/iv, D) iii E) ii/iii, F) ii/iv G) ii/iii H) iii, I) i/iii 


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