A Turkey of a Graph

This news story could make for an engaging math task. The reporter even lists some questions students may have.

Thanksgiving

But what I really want to know is …

what is this?

Thanksgiving Graph

Graphs should reveal information about a situation (e.g., relationships, trends). Does this graph do that? The pictograph is cute, but does it suit the data? Choice of format aside, what’s with the different symbols/scales between categories? The reader can compare pounds of mashed potatoes to pounds of vegetables (kind of) and litres of gravy to litres of cranberry sauce, but what conclusion can he or she draw from comparing the mashed potato category to the gravy category (or to turkeys, rolls, or pies, for that matter)? And the spacing? At first glance, it looks like there are 80, not 100, pounds more mashed potatoes than vegetables. But wait–there’s an extra partial column of broccoli. At least it wasn’t Brussels sprouts.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Related:

xkcd: Tall Infographics
xkcd: Tall Infographics