Using Infographics to Show What Students Know

Students in Ms. Linder’s Food Science class have been immersing themselves in sugar, figuratively, of course.

The focus of their most recent unit was Sugar Solutions. Students have been working in their own blogs, which are used as learning portfolios, on assignments related to the chemistry of sugar. Their culminating assessment was to create an infographic to show what they know about sugar and the chemical reaction that takes place within the human body.

What is an infographic? As Anders Ross writes, “Information graphics or infographics are visual representations of information, data or knowledge” (InstantShift.com). Infographics present data in an engaging visual way in order to share research, tell a story, make a point, and/or advance an argument. Infographics use pictures, images, design, and colors along with content to illustrate and understand data. The goal is to educate and inform an audience.

One student, Samantha S., designed her infographic around a provocative title, “Is Sugar Killing Us?” In her presentation, she shared facts, images, and data in order to demonstrate the reality versus the hype associated with sugar consumption. One fact that surprised her was the quantity of sugar in supposedly “healthy” beverages: “The average person is supposed to have 20-25 grams of sugar a day. The natural Odwalla superfood drink has 30 grams of sugar in it. With that one ‘healthy’ drink you are having over the amount of sugar you should eat in a day! That’s CRAZY!”

Ms. Linder’s reaction? “I was so thrilled to see their interest with this unit, and engagement with the infographic assignment. I was even more delighted to see them enthusiastic about presenting their work.” She explains that while some students started out by simply reading their infographic, each one quickly gained confidence and “soon left the text to add their own opinions or questions. That demonstrated to me curiosity, interest, and learning on the part of each student.”  Reflecting on what the students accomplished Ms. Linder remarked, “I am really proud of their effort.”

To learn more about infographics and to check out some great ones (including The Scary Truth About Movie Theater Snacks), take a few minutes to look over these two resources I created:

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