Last spring, I learned a lot about creating infographics when I worked on an Empowered Use Policy with @jonbanules and @shanegower on a COETAIL project. I knew right away this is something I wanted to use with my students, whether I was explicitly teaching it as a skill or exploring it through learning about an integrated subject. Here it is on the left (or get the original on Google Drive).
Last month I posted some infographic resources I was planning to use with my students while discussing creative commons licensing, CARP design principles, and some of the resources I was thinking of using when I finally put the lessons together. Since I’ve already gotten into “the thick of it” with my own infographics, I thought I would use this opportunity to reflect on how that lesson evolved with some tips for those who might take the DIY route to using infographics with your students.
I actually went the traditional book route when introducing this lesson, because my Grade 3 students were learning about Solar Systems and I really loved the fantastic Infographics: Space book by Simon Rogers. There is a whole series of these books and they do a superb job of demonstration creative, effective infographic design that represents the CARP principles I am teaching. Check out Big Picture Press for other books in the series that might suit your unit.
Third grade were really into two of the CARP principles, Contrast and Alignment. We focused on these for lack of time, but a few other tools were really useful for getting these points across. We made our infographics using piktochart.com. Our students have Google Apps accounts for school and this made it easy using their “Log in with Google” feature so that we didn’t need new accounts or passwords for this service. It also helped when teaching the principle of alignment to have the built in rulers and guidelines that this app provides. Students were able to implement what we discussed immediately with this handy scaffold.
The good ol’ Colour Wheel was also invaluable for teaching contrast, but some students dug a bit deeper and decided they wanted to colour match things exactly using HTML colour hex codes they found for colours on the opposite side of the wheel. One student recommended this handy colour calculator tool to his friends as “the best colour wheel ever!”. I made a note to share it with you!
My biggest takeaway from this lesson wasn’t the infographics themselves but how motivated the students were to research facts about the solar system once they had an engaging way to present them. It integrated so well into the students’ Unit of Inquiry as well as my other teaching. Ease of using the tool and the way it encapsulated the design principles while providing ways to reinforce our creative commons/labelled for reuse digital citizenship learning were just tremendous bonuses at that point.
I’m planning on running further with this as the year goes on, if you’ve got any questions about using piktochart, CARP or infographics in a lesson, leave me a comment!