Now I See!

Tips and Thoughts


IntroductionOne Class StoryTips and Thoughts
Resources and ToolsStudent ExamplesWhat Students Say



Every teacher appreciates practical tips to avoid lesson disasters. As you plan for students to create infographics in your classroom, enjoy this advice from teachers who have used infographics as scaffold, formative assessments, or summative assessments for student learning.

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Before you start

  • Explore examples of infographics on the web. TeachersFirst offers many reviewed resources with examples or tools for infographics. Have students select a favorite one that connects to your class content and write a critique or blog post about what is good about its visual elements and its information/data.
  • Take time to model or build an infographic together as a class. If you have access to an interactive whiteboard, have a student operate it as you “build” together. Think out loud about every step the class takes. Discuss how to decide what to include based upon the purpose of the Infographic and the choices of colors, graphics, data and other information.
  • Talk about the difference between an infographic and a poster where information is scattered and unrelated.
  • Share SHOW IT!, the downloadable PowerPoint available on the Resources page. The file comes complete with a script for teacher narration in the Notes area. You may not need the specific PowerPoint tips, but the principles will get your students started.
  • Offer links to many online infographic pages on your class web page so students can use them as inspiration whenever they get stuck. TeachersFirst offers many reviewed resources with examples or tools for infographics. Find even more on the Resources page.


The first time

  • Start with an Infographic about an easier topic. Consider using an online infographic tool such as Venngage or for success the first time.
  • Keep the SHOW IT! tips handy if your students are building their infographics in PowerPoint slides.
  • Consider offering a blank template or a 2-3 choices for the first infographic.
  • During work time, move from student to student to look for misunderstandings and to coach students individually. This will give you formative feedback on their understanding of concepts and let you help with both content and infographic frustrations.
  • Provide class time for students to start their infographics and seek help from you and their peers.
  • Do infographic check-ins part way to the due date. You will see student thought processes as they work through the material.
  • If using the infographics throughout a unit, it was easier to tell students to “add their notes to the Infographic” daily, then remove redundancy by thinking about where an image would replace words or ideas. Some have trouble thinking of the images first.
  • If you are require vocabulary and definitions to be included, consider allowing students to place full definitions in a separate area (sidebar or box) of the infographic so the text does not clutter their representations of broad concepts. Allow them to remove words as needed and focus on the main ideas in the content.
  • Share the rubric before you start and remind students to refer to it often while making their infographic, not just when they are done!


Improving infographics as the year goes on
Practice, practice, practice. It will take 2-3 infographic assignments before they start to gel. Students will complain that “this is hard” and they would rather take a quiz. Don’t give up. For reassurance, see What Students Say. 

  • Share Good to Better, the slide show with constructive criticism of work by the ninth grade biology classes described in these pages. Then try doing a “good to better” class discussion or small group activity with infographics by anonymous student volunteers.
  • Practice and model making critique comments. If you have a class wiki where you share infographics, try using the wiki discussion tab. Here are some instructions Louise Maine used, but she says students need more guidance on this process. To be successful, you will need to build the critique skills so students move beyond shallow, congratulatory comments like, ”Good job!”
  • Avoid “I’m done.” Encourage ongoing revision just as you do with writing or anything creative. Students do not realize that they could change definitions and connections on an infographic-in-progress to make it more meaningful.
  • Gradually add data to make the infographics more than words and pictures. You can call the data “fun facts,” but tell students they should be looking for numerical or quantitative “facts” that can be compared or measured. Talk about using size, proportion, or repetition to visually represent comparisons.


Helping students who struggle

  • Even when others are creating their infographics freeform, have templates available for those who have difficulty organizing their information. A simple grid of boxes will help for starters. Lines and borders between areas offers visual organization.
  • Use infographic check-ins to monitor for misunderstandings and gain a window into what students are thinking. Ask them orally what the pictures mean to them or how they could picture a word or concept.


Managing limited technology
1 to 1 computers or classroom carts are the ideal, but not everyone has them. So…

  • Rotate students through a computer station with other learning activities in other stations.
  • Have students create folders for images using online apps they can access and work on from anywhere, such as at home or during study halls. Google Docs (aka Google Apps or Google Drive) is a good option.
  • Go “no tech” and create infographics on paper. Or use paper to sketch out the design then create during limited time in the computer lab.
  • Use sign ups for “computer time” the way people reserve time in a recording or photo studio.
  • Rotate infographic assignments so only some groups are creating them with each unit.
  • Make infographics one of several choices for summative assessments.
  • Rotate the task of class infographic “scribe” or partner scribes, with a different student taking a turn for the week or unit.