In this lesson, students are introduced to infographics. Some infographics use symbols, and the lesson focuses on the use of symbols to help convey information and represent facts in infographics. We want the children to find more and different uses for symbols, and infographics are a great way to get them into information-rich nonfiction while keeping the link to their Unit of Inquiry.
Given infographics from What’s Where in the World, each student will collect 10 symbols and explain what those symbols represent. (AASL 4.1.4, “Seek information for personal learning in a variety of formats and genres.”)
Students will record ten symbols and their meanings from child-friendly infographics.
Remind the students that they are working on signs and symbols in their current Unit of Inquiry. Ask them places where they commonly find signs and symbols. Explain that today they will learn how symbols can be used in infographics.
Teach what an infographic is. Generally, infographics:
- Contain facts or information
- Include art (often symbols)
- Tell the reader something about the information
Show a few examples of infographics from What’s Where in the World so that the kids get an idea of what an infographic looks like. Be sure to point out color coding, keys, text boxes, or other features that make the infographics understandable. For this lesson, try to focus on infographics that use symbols so that the children are sure to connect their learning to the Unit of Inquiry.
Explain to the children that today they will be given several infographics. They should use at least three of the infographics to record symbols. Not only should they record the symbols, but the meaning of the symbol.
Pass out the student assignment sheet. Show the children the ten boxes where they should record the symbols they find in the infographics. Demonstrate how to search for symbols by doing the first one together. For example, in the “Food Production” infographic on page 92-93, fruit is represented by three bananas. Quickly sketch three bananas in the first box, label that symbol “fruit,” and then let the children search for the remaining nine symbols.
Make sure that each table has enough infographic copies so that children can easily search for infographics, record their work, then swap infographic sheets with their neighbors.
Ask the children to tell you some of the symbols they found. If there is time, perhaps as they work, make a class Infographic Symbols Chart. List each symbol they found, and then let them draw the symbols. As a class, they will discover many more than ten. Review the Infographic Symbols Chart at the end of the lesson. This Infographic Symbols Chart would be an excellent product as evidence of learning from today’s lesson.
Copies of infographics from What’s Where in the World by Dorling Kindersley, placed on each table where the kids can easily reach them. The following infographics use symbols that fit this lesson:
- Deadly Creatures, p. 48-49
- Sharks, p. 56-57
- Billionaires, p. 90-91 (only one symbol, so this one is easy!)
- Food Production, p. 92-93
- Pollution, p. 98-99
- Alternative Energy, p. 106-107
- Armed Forces, p. 130-131
- Ancient Wonders, p. 142-143
- Holy Places, p. 168-169
- Tourism, p. 170-171
- Festivals, p. 176-177
Notes: Some of the infographics in What’s Where in the World may be too advanced for your students. I’ve tried to give enough options so that you can choose some that your students may be most interested in. If the infographics in the book are too difficult, or if your library does not have the book, look at Google Images or Pinterest for “Infographics for Children” and you will have many more choices. This lesson can be taught with any child-friendly infographics, not only those from the recommended text.
If you have a Follett Titlewave account, search under the tag “Includes Infographics.” This will give you a few more options for books with infographics if you would like more for your library. Follett also offers several free teaching resources to accompany some of their infographics books. So, if your school could benefit from more material on infographics, please check-out the free teaching resources available through Titlewave.
Recommended books for this lesson:
What’s Where in the World, published by Dorling Kindersley.
Infographics, Information Visualization, Visual Communication, Symbols