Are you a middle school educator who is always thinking of engaging lesson plans and incorporating fun learning at the same time?
Incorporating infographics in the classroom is your best bet. Sounds too tricky?
Well, worry no more because there is a plethora of educational infographics readily available online that would surely entice your student’s minds and interests.
Infographics are ubiquitous and easy to make. They are a wonderful blend of arts, statistics, information and design.
Middle school students are of the age where it is hard to keep their attention. But with visual tools, complex data and difficult lessons can now be compressed in an engaging way.
You can make eye-catching, easily shareable, and engaging educational infographics on just about any subject–history, social studies, math, science, arts, literature, and world languages.
There are a multitude of different ways to use infographics in lessons:
- Educational infographics can be used as visuals aids.
- You can use them as discussion starters.
- You can introduce a topic or give an overview of the lesson.
- They are perfect for visualizing data and teaching data visualization concepts.
Before we go further into real classroom examples, it’s important to understand why infographics can be effective.
Think like a middle schooler when incorporating infographics in the classroom
A former middle school math teacher and now a Research Associate and Professional Development Coordinator at Tarrant Institute, Meredith Swallow shared an infographic about the relevance of Math on how middle-schoolers would want to learn their lesson in her article.
The infographic statistics states that 48% of Middle-schoolers would like learning outside of school and prefers using technology for 8 hours outside of school in learning. This is where Educational infographics become handy for a better and effective teaching strategy.
In addition, the statistics shows that 48% of Middle-schoolers want hands-on applications. Why don’t we let them do the work on their own at home to get great learning results?
Middle schoolers’ minds are creative, impulsive, moody and easily bummed out. That’s why infographics could make a big impact on how they learn if incorporated in learning. They want to be engaged, connected, motivated and independent.
Now that we understand the inner workings and leveraging of a middle-schooler’s mind, it is important to that we use the best techniques and strategies in teaching them. How can we use infographics to foster an exceptional learning experience?
I say, let’s learn from the expert practitioners! Let’s dig deeper into some of the effective methods using infographics in the classroom by middle school teachers in their everyday classrooms.
1. Use an infographic to spur a classroom debate
Michelle Haiken, a teacher at Rye Middle School, NY, uses infographics to engage her students in her everyday lessons. Check out more details on how she uses infographics in this blog.
She knows how infographics are effective in information dissemination. She uses infographics she finds online to compare information and help spur classroom debates between students.
For example, you could use a comparison infographic like this two show two sides of an argument:
2. Have students create their own infographics as a classroom activity
Michelle Haiken also handles an elective course on Career Exploration where she took the opportunity to make her students create their own infographic about their own career interests. She lets her students complete the task on her class time.
Not only did she develop the students’ computer skills but she also enhanced their critical thinking and creativity.
3. Use infographics to gameify your classroom
Teacher’s incorporate digital games on their teaching to make sure more students are engaged. Similarly, infographics would be a great tool for games inside the class for a fun and interactive learning.
Maybe you can try the infographics that has a quiz flow chart. These game measure and develop the student’s literacy, reading and math skills.
A recent report by The Joan Ganz Cooney Center entitled, Comparative Analysis of National Teacher Surveys indicated that 43% of the teachers used online video games for learning. Alternatively, you can also use web-based interactive infographics that gives students/viewers the control to modify the results.
4. Use infographics in your lessons are visual aids
The same report also says that 43% of teachers used online images as part of the learning. This makes infographics more ideal because you are gonna be able to express more and show more.
Instead of using a simple image, use infographics that are readily available online to show images and useful data at the same time.
5. Have students create visual essays with infographics
Urvi Shah is the Director of Educational Technology and Innovation at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart. She designs a seamless use of technology within curriculum and develops and implements teacher PD based on best practice in education and emerging technologies.
They tried using infographics as a different approach instead of essay writing. It turned out good and they ended up displaying the infographics in the school hallways.
6. Ask students to create an infographic as a homework assignment
Vance Kite is a High School Science Teacher academy at City of Medicine Academy, US. He instructs students to create infographics on topics such as controversies in public health, the American obesity epidemic, STDs, and the environmental impact of their purchases.
7. Ask students to use infographics in their presentations
Mia MacMeekin is a lawyer, an educator and an instructional designer at Stratford University; Epigogy, Inc; Liberty University; US. She instructs students to use infographics on a crowdsourcing project in Ethics and any other presentation.
She also used them to explain work flow and assignments. In addition, she really makes good infographics herself. I have seen some and they are awesome! Check out her Pinterest account.
8. Have students use infographics as reporting tools
Shayne Swift is the International Baccalaureate Program Coordinator at Parkdale HS; PGCPS, US. Her students use infographics in reporting. Not only that, she they also share their infographics locally and globally.
Infographics have almost become a staple of online information delivery and it can be an effective and powerful teaching tool. Indeed, an infographic can transfer knowledge about a topic faster and more effectively than pure text but you need to always keep in mind that an effective infographic is dependent on the quality and presentation of it.
Be creative and let your own style and goals be the key to any lesson plans incorporating infographics.
How about you? How do you use infographics in the classroom?