Infographics can be versatile tools for enhancing transdisciplinary learning within classrooms. They give students the opportunity to make sense of visual data while exploring unit concepts.
Infographics require students to observe and synthesize visual data – presented in both text and number form. They are flexible resources for linking content areas; as they can be used to investigate concepts across multiple subjects.
Get started by asking yourself: In this inquiry –
- What concepts am I trying to teach? Think about the related concepts connected to your unit of inquiry. For example: Machines, nature, cycles, systems etc. If you are unable to make an authentic link, consider topics or concepts that captivate your students or support their own personal inquiries.
- Which infographics will best suit my goals? Explore the vast collection of infographics online. Peter Grundy or Nicholas Blechman are talented graphic designers who create engaging, educational content for all ages; their work can be a good place to start. Curate a collection of graphics for your lesson or choose to use just one – it’s up to you.
- Which skills do I want students to develop? Determine if you want students to approach the infographic through a math, reading or unit lens. Identifying the skills you wish to teach will serve as a guide in helping you shape your questions.
- Which questions will drive this inquiry? Craft three to four questions that could be broadly applied to multiple infographics. Keep the questions open to ensure that you’re approaching the inquiry from a conceptual standpoint. Exercise quality over quantity in this area.
You might consider questions like
- What information is most important?
- What inferences can we make based on the data represented in this graphic?
- What predictions can we make based on this data?
- What questions or wonderings are you left with after reading this data?
- What surprises you about this information?
Additional activities you might consider are
- Encouraging students to share infographics found in books they’re reading
- Having students construct questions for infographics that their friends will explore
- Teaching students how to design their own graphics
Be sure to let us know how using visual data helped you make transdisciplinary connections in your classroom. Talk to us; we’d love to hear!