Friday Five: Infographics You Can Make in Your Classroom

Most people, like me, are vaguely confused about the term Infographic.  I think it is basically a fancy word for a visual version of information–like a chart or a graph.  But the internet and social media have made them more readily available and they have started to permeate our consciousness.  This year I’m trying to use them in my classroom and they seem to be working with students, who appear to be far more familiar with them than I am.

  1. By the Numbers--This is a fairly common type of infographic. Here’s an example about holidays (since I sadly just saw Christmas decorations in the store). I have found one great way for students to use these is to survey classmates and see what the general consensus is–this is a great way to start conversations.  For example, I am teaching Into the Wild and students surveyed each other about whether they admire Chris or think he’s crazy.  My students reading Light in August made some about the book and the author.
  2. Flow Chart--We used an example (should I check my email) to show students what a flow chart was.  Then, students made general flow charts, for school issues and for texts we were reading.  The one about Joe beating people up is a little disturbing, but it actually ties directly to events in the text.
    Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 7.15.20 AMunnamed-1
  3. Timeline–we’ve done these forever, but we can mix them up. I’ve had students do timelines of just a portion of the text, or timelines of one relationship.  One group of students made a timeline and realized there were similarities between Joe Christmas and Batman and they made their poster into a Batman theme, which led to a conversation about how they could actually write a paper comparing the two seemingly different characters.
    Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 4.43.28 PMScreen Shot 2014-09-25 at 4.44.25 PM
  4. Versus–I used to just have students do Venn Diagrams to see similarities and differences, but there are so many ways for students to visualize this.  Below are some character comparisons from Light in August.
    Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 4.48.46 PMScreen Shot 2014-09-25 at 4.48.54 PM
  5. How To–This is a nice way to have students share a skill they are good at, but they can also tie it to a text.  One group of students did a How to use Snapchat, but made it based on Into the Wild, using character names.  Another set of students merged the how to with the versus. (Just a note, it was a group of all boys who made the comparison to Elsa from Frozen.  I would have never know about their love for her had we not done this project.)
    Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 7.15.36 AMScreen Shot 2014-09-25 at 4.43.35 PM

Although I was worried about doing these in class because I hadn’t done them before, the students were familiar with these ways of sharing information and began to synthesize ideas I hadn’t thought of before.  We then talked about how some of these could actually be a type of visual organizer for a paper topic.  Some students shared afterward that it made them think differently about the texts we were reading in class.

If you want to talk more about this, come to my session at the PCTELA conference on Friday, October 24!

Posted by Kate, VP Secondary.

A special thanks to my intern, Shannon Trozzo, without whom I would not have been able to do these!

Friday Five: Infographics You Can Make in Your Classroom

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