Using Infographics in Year 3

This week’s focus on infographics came at the right time for me, as I have recently introduced the idea to my Year 3 classes.  

A summary of our lessons

We started by discussing the word infographic and then by looking at some examples.  I chose examples about Creative Commons because we have been talking a lot about our responsibility when using images and other digital content.  I thought it would be a nice way to reinforce learning about Creative Commons.

I have included a few of the infographics I used as examples, and as you can see, they get progressively more dense and include more information.  As the students became more familiar with the concept and more comfortable with the idea of infographics, I wanted to make the infographics more difficult.

The first infographic we looked at:

What is Creative Commons?
by Folography.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

 

We also looked at:

What means Creative Commons? Infographic by Martin Missfeldt

This infographic was created by Berlin based artist, Martin Missfeldt. Check out his website.

The most “information dense” infographic we read:

Creative Commons Photos

How To Attribute Creative Commons Photos by Foter

Time to play

After reading a number of infographics and becoming more familiar with the concept, we decided it was time to play!  I introduced the students to easel.ly, placed them in pairs, and let them play with the tool to see what they could learn.  They quickly figured out how to use it and remembered to search for Creative Commons images.  However, I noticed that the students were going straight to design and creation, without first considering the data and information they wanted to include.  I let them do this for awhile, as I figured they were learning how to use the tool and how to create something new.  The next time I ask students to create an infographic, I’m going to use a Presentation Zen strategy by having the students plan their infographic offline, on paper.  Hopefully, this will give them the chance to think more deeply about the information and the data they want to represent, without getting caught up in the design and creation straightaway.

Learning to represent data and information in an infographic

When we came back for our next lesson, I started by asking the students to consider what data and information they wanted to represent in their infographic.  We talked about the process they went through when they were playing and what they learned in the process. We then decided to create an infographic as a class so that we could concentrate on the data and information we wanted to include.  We chose to compare the cost of life in Japan and Australia.  (note: We chose this topic because the class has two new students from Japan who came up with the idea of comparing the cost of living in the two countries.)  

Our first (as yet unfinished!) attempt at an infographic:

geeksJapan title=
easel.ly

It took us two 30 minute lessons to get this far in creating our infographic!  We had discussions about everything, from the data and information, the design and the colors, to finding the right Creative Commons image (using advanced Google search).

Thinking about design and appeal

In our final lesson before the term holiday (the third week of September), I focused on the idea of design by showing the students this infographic:

Qmee Online in 60 Seconds Infographic
Online in 60 Seconds [Infographic] is an infographic that was produced by Qmee

I chose this infographic because I knew the content would appeal to the kids and because I like the design.  I like the use of color, font and the combination of words and numbers. Once the students had a good read of the infographic, I asked them how we could change ours to improve the design and the appeal of our infographic.  They worked in pairs and made comments on sticky notes which they placed on a copy of our infographic.   The ideas were endless-from changing the font size and color, the background color, the pictures to the layout.  The students were hard on themselves but came up with a huge number of ways to improve their infographic.

The next step

Andrew Crawford  shared Daniel Zeevi’s post “What makes a good infographic”, which will serve as a starting point for our discussion when we return in Term 4.  From here, I expect more lively discussion about what we need to do to improve our infographic.  I plan to have the students revisit their sticky notes and if possible, add more new ideas for improvements.

What Makes a Good Infographic?

by DashBurst.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

 

Just like Kelsey Giroux, I will continue to focus on infographics with my students and give them lots of opportunities to analyze and read a range of infographics and also to create more of their own.

A final note

I think there is scope to collaborate with classes in other countries when creating infographics, especially those that compare life or cost of living.  It would be cool if there is an online collaborative infographic creator-a Google Drive like tool.  If you have any ideas or would like to collaborate, please let me know.

Two good websites

Daily Infographic-a new infographic everyday!

5 Tools for creating your own infographics

4 thoughts on “Using Infographics in Year 3

  1. Profile photo of Jeff UtechtJeff Utecht

    Love those CC infographics. I’ve bookmarked your site so that I can use those in course 2 next time around. Thanks for finding those…really good and think they would look awesome in a classroom.

    Reply
    1. Profile photo of Beth Queeney DresslerBeth Queeney Dressler Post author

      Hi Jeff,
      Glad that the infographics can be helpful in the next course. My students really like them and found them to be useful, so I’m sure other teachers will appreciate them.
      Beth

      Reply
  2. Profile photo of Verena ZimmerVerena Zimmer

    Hi Beth,
    thanks for sharing this great experience with your 3rd grade. I’m a little bit behind with my own inquiry into infographics but your blog post definitely gave me an idea to realize it even in Primary School. Great! I love how you gave your students choices, time to play as well as time to reflect on it. They had the chance to grow into it as we do during these weeks. My first initial thought was though to create an own one before I start with the kids. I’m probably going to use easel.ly because you had good experiences with it, right? There are so many tools to use… Anyways, this week I’ll start to search for possibilities in my teaching environment. Thanks again for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Profile photo of Beth Queeney DresslerBeth Queeney Dressler Post author

      Hi Verena,
      Thanks for stopping by my blog. I think it’s a good idea to have a play with making an infographic before you do it with students, but don’t worry too much about it. Once they get the concept of what an infographic is, they get really into it and start creating. Your job is then to provide guidance on the information and the visual aspects. Have fun and let me know what you create with your students!
      Beth

      Reply

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