The use of diagrams in geography has become a routine. As students get acquainted with diagrams, they are usually asked to typify a graph or answer questions with simple data. They might be required to make or draw a graph from a data set.
These exercises develop their skills in understanding the characteristics of linear diagrams. At the same time, however, the use of diagrams seldom motivates students.
If the students receive data in connection with the events or information on the diagram, they can relate the data to the graph. Moreover, if they are asked to decide which is the right time for certain events to happen, diagrams “come to life”.
Linear graphs show the relationship between two variables (factors) only, for instance the relationship between the lapse of time and the number of inhabitants.
Living graphs on the other hand draw students’ attention on the fact that different variables, like the migration of inhabitants and public sanitation, relate to a factor shown on another graph. Therefore they assist in the constructive understanding of diagrams
Living graphs make students think and speak and give them a prod to argue with the teacher and their classmates. These graphs encourage students to ask questions and drive them to regard graphs from a completely different perspective.