Visualising inequality (by hand) resources

The resources on this page provide opportunities for students to explore economic inequality data and graphs, and to consider how hand-drawn data visualisations can be used to tell a story with data. They also link to careers and highlight the importance of mathematical skills in Social Science.

These resources were produced in collaboration with The Equality TrustOpens a new window, which works to improve the quality of life in the UK by reducing economic and social inequality.

In collaboration with The Equality Trust, the AMSP held a competition in 2021, challenging students to create their own visualisations to tell a story about income inequality. The winning and runner-up entriesOpens a new window are great examples of what students can aim for with this activity.

The activities are suitable for students of all ages in secondary school or college. There are four charts in the presentation and we suggest you focus on exploring one or two of these. The most accessible is the pie chart on income share in the UK, and the most challenging is the vertical grouped bar chart on wealth distribution to the world. You may like to use the activities in a maths lesson, a social science lesson, or as part of an enrichment activity.



This activity consists of:

  1. An online pre-taskOpens a new window which students can complete as homework (or in lessons if they have access to devices) before the first lesson. In the task, students will explore how wealth is distributed across the UK and the world, and the power of data visualisations. This short videoOpens a new window shows you how to assign the task and view student responses. Please note that it is possible to do this activity on a phone but it will be more challenging due to the small screen.
  2. A PowerPoint and accompanying worksheet for students to explore hand drawn data visualisations, get to know the income inequality data, get curious about it and have a data visualisation ‘idea party’. We suggest that you just focus on one or two of the four charts with your class.
  3. Four short videos in which Visual Storyteller, Catherine Madden, explains how she would begin to re-visualise each chart. In the videos, students will be invited to select one of their doodles from the ‘idea party’ to evaluate and refine. These videos are linked to in the PowerPoint above.
  4. In addition, you may like to share the following videos with your class:

    The Equality Trust on Income Inequality

    An interview with Wanda Wyporska

    Watch video Opens a new window

    Catherine Madden Visual Storyteller

    An interview with Catherine on her career and why maths is so useful for it

    Watch video Opens a new window