Another old favourite from the Leading in Learning initiative. The idea of living graphs is that pupils track ups and downs in a very rough manner just to help them get a feel for something.
This can work well in a number of subjects. In English, for example, they could create a graph which tracks tension in a certain story, with “level of tension” on one axis and time, page number, episodes or similar on the other axis. After completing this exercise, they will have provided themselves with a simple visual record of how the author is operating – and a potential springboard for more detailed analysis. In Geography this idea might be used to track how environmentally-friendly somebody is during the course of a day. In History a living graph could be used to track the popularity of a certain monarch, or the success of a certain side in a war, as in this example from Class Tools [click to enlarge]:
If you’d like your students to complete this activity on a PC, take a look at this app.