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Lesson: Creating Infographics with Piktochart

Title

 Creating Infographics with Piktochart

Description

Students will learn about stories on the web that highlight data and the rationale for using a free online creation tool called Piktochart. Then they will create their own data visualization using this tool.

Objectives

  • Students will create a multimedia data visualization.
  • Students will appropriately source images from the internet.
  • Students will describe which stories can be enhanced by this type of data.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.6 Use technology, including the internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.5 Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning and evidence and to add interest.

 Length

100 minutes, with possible time at home to finish project work

Materials / resources

Lesson step-by-step

1. Introduction — 15 minutes (or more)

If students have not been instructed in data journalism, have them review the lesson “Principles of Design Basics” for how to place design elements effectively. In addition, the News Gathering module has six related data journalism lessons.

Take an informal poll of the class asking the following questions:

  • How many of you have made a poster for one of your classes?
  • How many of those posters included research?
  • How many of those posters were so tightly packed with information that it was hard to read (dare I say ugly)?

Continue with these questions:

  • What was the point of doing a poster?
  • If the poster is hard to read, then doesn’t that defeat the purpose?

Tell students:

We’ll be working today on an online tool called Piktochart that will allow you to easily put together this sort of information.

Begin by showing the one-minute intro video on the Piktochart Website

Then browse through the gallery on the Piktochart website, showing students a good sampling of other infographics.

(This is a good time to ask students if they know of the CARP design principles – if they seem unsure, the teacher should review them as you look through the gallery… Contrast Alignment Repetition Proximity).

After showing the examples, have students discuss in small groups which kinds of stories/projects would lend themselves to this type of data visualization. Collect and share answers from each group; you might consider asking each group to present one of their ideas with a paper or whiteboard mock-up.

The teacher can show the examples on slides two and three of the slideshow presentation to demonstrate how other schools have used Piktochart. You might also consider having students examine these examples in small groups and then report back to the class with their analysis.

Sample student responses:

  • Integrate into stories that use numbers, data.
  • Can also stand alone without a story.
  • Ideas: budget coverage, meetings coverage, localization of national news (e.g. national research vs. school survey data).

Explain that the project today will have students create a simple infographic using Piktochart.

2. Direct instruction — 5 minutes

Students will be researching and creating a Piktochart based on data about any topic they can find on Pew’s research website.

Advise students they are responsible for the following:

  • Creating an original Piktochart, based on data from the Pew Research Center.
  • Finding a topic that can be explored more deeply and presented visually with data.
  • Finding four different pieces of data relevant to the topic.
    • Include that data on the graphic and source it appropriately
    • Writing a minimal amount of text to complement the data on the graphic, including a title.
    • Adherence to basic design principles.
    • Emailing the final product to the teacher.

3. Introducing the Piktochart tool — 20 minutes

Use the slideshow “Creating Infographics with Piktochart” to give step-by-step directions for starting the infographic. Depending on your teaching style and students, you may choose to forgo the slideshow and use a computer to demonstrate the creation at this point of the lesson. Remind students that they should use the Pew Research Center website to find the necessary information for their infographic.

Direct students to the Piktochart student tutorial – have them take very basic notes on the process.

After the demonstration, allow students to work on their own Piktocharts.

4. Application — 50 minutes

Deliver the presentation electronically so students can refer to it as they find a topic and data to create a Piktochart. Students will work alone or in pairs to complete the infographics using computers. The teacher should walk around the room to provide support as students work. While some students may finish during this timeframe, others may need several more class periods or time at home to finish; adjust the due date to accommodate student needs.

5. Assessment — 10 minutes

Students will reflect on their experience and evaluate themselves using the rubric provided, submitting it to the teacher in class. Students will find the link of graphic and submit to the teacher through email, Twitter, Google Classroom or preferred method.

Differentiation

Depending on students’ skill level and available technology, they can work alone or in groups to complete the project.

Students may need more time and support to create the graphic and work with the tool.

  • Have advanced students work with others to support those who need help.
  • Have students sketch a draft of their graphic on paper before begin using the the online tool.

Once students have completed this, have students complete one of their own to complement an online feature or beat and embed the final product into their work for publication.