TeachersFirst's Gifted in any Classroom: Project Tools for Infographics and Timelines
This group of editors' choice tools will challenge gifted students working on independent and creative projects to show what they know in all grade levels and subjects.
These tools let students create infographics (with numerical data or information) and timelines. Some allow you to get started without making an account while others require a log in right away. Consider using a teacher or class account, especially with younger students. Since some of these tools have a steeper learning curve, it would be a good idea to let students use the same tool several times to move past the glitz and master the content they are trying to communicate.
Before you start choosing tools, Check out the tips, permission slips, and rubrics for Injecting and Respecting Creativity, and be sure you encourage your gifted students to collect ideas in an idea bin as they begin their project.
The "In the Classroom" portion of these tool reviews will suggest some possible project types for your gifted students.
Can't find one you like? Find many more in the TeachersFirst Edge.
Grades2 to 12
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In the ClassroomUse an interactive whiteboard or projector to share timelines about historical events and more. Have students create timelines for research projects. Create author biographies, animal life cycles, or timelines of events and causes of wars. Challenge students to create a timeline of the plot of a novel. If you teach chemistry, have students create illustrated sequences explaining oxidation or reduction (or both). Have elementary students interview grandparents and create a class timeline about their grandparents for Grandparents' Day. In world language classes, have students create a timeline of their family in the language to master using vocabulary about relatives, jobs, and more (and verb tenses!). Students learn about photo selection, detail writing, chronological order, and more while creating the timelines of their choice. Making a timeline is also a good way to review the history of a current event or cultural developments.
Includes an education-only area for teachers and students
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes social features, such as "friends," comments, ratings by others
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Premium version (not free) includes additional features or storage
Includes teacher tools for registering and/or monitoring students
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomUse a whole class account if you are working with students under 13 or if school policies prohibit student accounts. Experiment with Easel.ly on a projector or interactive whiteboard (let the students do it!) using different design "themes," making changes without having to configure the whole Infographic. After creating Infographics as a class, review the other types to show basic design principles. Students can create Infographics of a classroom topic, relationships and definitions of major terms, information from labs, and more. Find data and information that connects your content to the outside world, such as the statistics and causes for endangered species. Consider assigning the creation of an Infographic as an assignment to understand any curriculum content and connect it with the real world. For example, show the many ways electricity is used in the world or the impact of slavery on an economy. Or have students explain an experiment and report the results with graphical information to provide meaning. Learn about food groups (now displayed as myplate) by dissecting a food, diary, or a typical school lunch in terms of meeting daily requirements (and other nutrition topics).
If your use literature circles in your classroom, making an Infographic about a novel the group read would be a great conclusion for the lit circle project, and it might entice others in the class to read the novel. Post the infographics on your web page for all your students and their parents to enjoy.
To challenge your gifted students, have them research and create infographics depicting the tough issues or "flipsides" related to your curriculum topic: Major court cases and issues involving freedom of speech (during your Constuitution unit), risks and benefits of nuclear power (in a physics class), how an author's experience influences what he/she writes, lead-ups to a current events crisis, etc.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomConsider using quantitative data (or collecting your own) to create class graphics explaining and sharing the data. This tool does not create infographics that show flow charts or non-numeric relationships. Use the site to teach data and the graphic display of data. Common Core expects students to interpret data from visual representations and to create their own visual representations of information. Allow groups of students to choose a graphic and report to the class on how the data was made more meaningful using the graphics that were chosen. You may also want to share this link as a research tool for debates or presentations on science or social studies topics. Discuss the science, history, or math behind the data collected. Discuss other information and ways of presenting the information in order to create a more interesting graphic.
To challenge your gifted students, have them research and create infographics depicting the data to support stances on issues related to your curriculum topics: Numbers of people affected by climate change, economic effects of pollution, etc. Have them research the data and present it visually on a class wiki, then write an accompanying explanation or opinion piece.