Using Graphs As A Visual Representation Of Rate Situations

Understanding Graphs

Formative Assessment

Summary of the Math: Understanding Graphs

Read and discuss.

  • A situation can be represented by a graph.
  • Each point on a graph represents a pair of values. In the race graph, each point represents the time and the distance that the racer traveled in that amount of time.
  • Time is usually plotted on the horizontal axis. The farther right a point is from the origin, the more time has passed from the start.
  • Distance is usually plotted on the vertical axis. The higher up a point is from the origin, the farther the racer has traveled from the start.
  • A graph of a constant speed is a straight line.
  • Steeper lines show faster speeds.


Check your understanding.

  • What does a point on the graph represent?
  • What does a straight line on the graph mean?
  • What does the steepness of a line mean?