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Lesson Plan

A Picture IS Worth a Thousand Words: Using Infographics to Illustrate How-to Writing

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A Picture IS Worth a Thousand Words: Using Infographics to Illustrate How-to Writing

Grades 7 – 10
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Kathy Wickline

Kathy Wickline

Tolono, Illinois

Publisher

National Council of Teachers of English

 

Overview

Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice

 

OVERVIEW

In today’s world, displaying information in the form of infographics is a common practice. In this lesson students have the opportunity to create their own infographics using Piktochart to illustrate their own technical writing. After writing step-by-step instructions using topics about which they feel they are experts, such as how to play a video game, how to use a form of social media like Instagram or Snapchat, or how to pass a football, students will learn how to create infographics that complement their instructions. By creating infographics, students will work on developing many of the 21st century literacies.

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FEATURED RESOURCES

Piktochart: Students will use this website to create their own infographics to illustrate their process writing.

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FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE

Schechter and Denmon report that math and science teachers complain that students cannot write nonfiction. However, Schechter and Denmon believe today’s students practice technical writing skills online outside of the classroom. For example, students might contribute to step-by-step gaming video guides. They suggest “having students write gaming guides or guides to activities they enjoy will help them organize their writing" (25). Once students see that this type of writing requires clear, descriptive language written in chronological order, they will be able to make the connection between writing guides and writing a lab report.

By allowing students to write about activities they care about, students are provided with authentic purposes for writing, which according to Medlock is a necessary component of a successful writing assignment. She states, “If students know they are writing to achieve something, and not just completing another writing assignment, they will be more engaged in the writing they do.” Therefore, in this lesson students are given the opportunity to write instructions for activities they have mastered and would like to teach to someone else.

Furthermore, by creating infographics to illustrate their writing, students are producing more authentic products as well as developing their visual and technology literacy skills. The NCTE Definition of 21st Century Literacies states that "active, successful participants in this 21st century global society must be able to develop proficiency and fluency with the tools of technology” and therefore, students must be given the opportunity to utilize these tools, such as Piktochart, to achieve this goal.

Medlock, Martha. “Student Writing and the Writing Students Do.” Voices from the Middle 19.3 (March 2012): 53.

 

Schechter, Amy and Jennifer M. Denmon.  “How Do I Earn Buy-In from Digital Natives? Voices from the Middle 11.4 (May 2004): 22-27.

 

NCTE Position Statement. NCTE Definition of 21st Century Literacies.  2008.

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