Infographics

Words + pictures have always intrigued me. As a scrapbooker I use words + pictures to document life. As a blogger, I know when an image is included it always impacts me more. (I’ve been thinking of making this a goal — to include more images in my posts.) As a teacher I’m well aware of the power of visual stores in our brains.

The more I’ve delved into the illustration work in primary grades, the more I’ve been thinking about the power of words + pictures. It’s not just a primary thing, either. It is a reality of our world. We communicate with multimodal texts — words + pictures + sounds. There is a lot more to composing text than just writing words.

My friend, June Yazel, and I are giving a workshop called Tackling Technology in a Writer’s World. June introduced me to infographics. In this genre, writers share information through both pictures and words. My wheels are turning, thinking about the possibilities for infographics in classrooms. As our instruction shifts according to Common Core Standards, students are expected to refine and increase their research skills. It’s inevitable that we will begin looking for more ways for them to share their learning. Infographics are one way.

I also think there’s a place for infographics in primary classrooms. My son’s kindergarten classroom recently went on a field trip to the local grocery store. I can imagine them creating an infographic to share their learning from the field trip. I bet other people would be interested in the inner-workings of the box crusher! Then, along with the thank you note to the store, they could include their infographic to be displayed in the store.

Rarely do we read a unimodal text. Our society is composed of multimodal texts. If we are going to prepare kids to be successful in this world, then that involves reading and composing multimodal texts. Infographics are one way to do this.

Want to see some? Check out the Cool Infographics blog.

As I was looking for a video about infographics to share with you, I came across this infographic from Lab42 created last August about Twitter use. As you know I’m a big fan of Twitter and think everyone should join the professional community there. Interestingly enough, Wyzowl then created a videographic inspired by it. Check it out.