Everyday maths for Health and Social Care and Education Support 1

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# 3 Pictograms

One very simple way of showing data is in pictograms, which use pictures to count with. Pictograms have a strong visual impact.

As with tables, you need to decide on your title and what each row of the pictogram means. You also need to decide on your key. The key tells your reader what the picture you are using means.

The following pictogram shows the number of ambulances dispatched at different times during the week:

Figure 5 Ambulances dispatched pictogram

The important thing to remember with pictograms is that there must be a key to tell the reader what the picture means. In the example above, the picture of one ambulance means one ambulance was dispatched. But in the next example, showing the number of children attending a respite care day centre between 2 and 3 p.m. on a Sunday and Monday afternoon, the key is used differently:

Figure 6 Pictogram showing the number of children at a respite care day centre

Every pictogram needs a key – but this one doesn’t have one! You might think that means one child.

In fact, means five children, means four children and means three children.

Now try the following activity. Remember to check your answers once you have completed the questions.

## Activity 6: Deciphering a key

Can you work out what and mean?

means two children and means one child.

So the key can be used to show more than one item. This could be done to make the drawing of the pictogram easier when working with bigger numbers.

It is important to make sure you understand what the key means so that you can understand the data correctly.

There are advantages and disadvantages to using pictograms. On the one hand, they are easy to understand. On the other hand, however, they can only show a few things.

## Activity 7: Creating a pictogram

The following table shows the number of people in the waiting room of a doctor’s surgery at different times of the day:

9 a.m.4
11 a.m.2
1 p.m.7
3 p.m.1
5 p.m.3

Show this information as a pictogram using the key where represents five people.

Does your pictogram look like the one below?

Figure 7 GP surgery waiting room pictogram

## Summary

In this section you have learned about how to present data in pictograms.

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