Critical Thinking Via Infographics

7th grade Geography teacher, David J. at Graded-The American School of Sao Paulo, was planning an in-depth country data study and interpretation. He decided to allow his students to explore the use of infographics to visually represent the data and compare their findings. He explained to his students:

Instead of a focused, issue-based case study, the major project of the quarter will be a comparison of three countries (one from Europe, one from North or South America, and one from Africa or Asia).  You will research many categories (citing sources correctly), represent the data using infographics (group collaborative component), and then provide reflection (annotations) on how and why the countries are similar or different on these topics.  Additionally, students will write comments comparing their own researched countries’ information to the data of other students.

 

 infographics-sandbox

Some of the students had seen infographics, no one had created one. In an introductory lesson, we introduced infographics with the following resources.

What are infographics?

Wikipedia defines infographics:

Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly. They can improve cognition by utilizing graphics to enhance the human visual system’s ability to see patterns and trends

What is an infographic?

by Hot Butter Studio.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.
The Anatomy of an infographic according to Spyrestudio

The core infographic is composed of 3 very important parts.

  1. Visual

    • -Color Coding
    • -Graphics
    • -Reference Icons
  2. Content

    • -Time Frames
    • -Statistics
    • -References
  3. Knowledge

  4. -Facts
    -Deductions

 

Questions to ask yourself as you are “telling the story” of your data

  • WHAT is the story?
  • WHO is your audience?
  • WHY are your telling the story?
  • How will you COMMUNICATE the story about your data?
  • How will I show RELATIONSHIPS between the data?
  • Does my story make the viewer want to ask MORE QUESTIONS?

(Possible) Annotations to include in your infographic 

  • draw conclusions
  • Based on the data, what are some trends and patterns you see?
  • Can you make predictions?

 

The Value of Visualization from Column Five on Vimeo.

 Keep in mind…as you design

  • color (correlation)
  • size (quantity)
  • orientation (trends)

Don’t forget to cite your sources

  • Where did you get your data from?
  • Don’t infringe on copyright. You can’t just google an image and use in your infographic. Are you using public domain or Creative Commons images or clipart? If CC, make sure you are citing them properly in a Credit section at the end of the infographic. If you are using clipart/graphics from one of the infographic tools listed below, you have automatic permission to use them for our purpose.
    Example: Image credits: Teddy Bear image licensed under CC by langwitches- http://www.langwitches.org/blog/travel/teddybearsaroundtheworld/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/jose-60×60.jpg (Stated that it was indeed licensed under Creative Commons, followed by attribution and a link to the original file or page)

Infographic Examples

infographics-sandbox2

infographics-sandbox3

Where can you create your own Infographics?

Further resources about using Infographics with students:

Have you used infographics with your students? What are some resources /tools you have  used? What about “the critical thinking part”, beyond showing capability of visualizing data, but also articulating conclusions, making connections evident? How do you assess infographics? Have you created rubrics? Let’s pool our resources and experiences together.

Here are selected student examples from the country study:

by Ale

by Ale

inflation-rate-kari

by Kari

Religions-ji-won

life-expectancy-sydney

by Sydney

by Stephanie

by Stephanie

by Stephanie

by Stephanie

by Stephanie

by Stephanie