We are constantly looking for new ways to engage our students and get them interested in what we have to say. I’ve found that infographics do wonders! You can use them for so many types of activities and they are so easy to make. Here are a few sites where you can make your own, along with some ideas of how I’ve used them in class.
Wordle is one of my favorites. I mainly use it to activate my student’s reading sub-skills. Although there are tons of uses you can give it. It basically creates a word cloud from a link, or you can simply type in or paste the words you want to use. You can be as creative as you like with the font, direction of the words and the colors and sizes. I also love having students make their own as a guideline to an oral presentation, or to summarize a text.
This is a great tool to make your own charts, graphs or ven diagrams. Even though it may seem something a math teacher might use, I love make really simple ones to get my students to describe, compare and contrast. Besides the obvious relation with the IELTS task 1 essay, you can also use it for speaking activities. Give your student an easy graph that describes a person’s activities in the past days, and have them give as many sentences as they can using past simple, past continuous and past perfect. It’s almost as good as a timeline.
You can choose any one of their featured templates like language maps,experience timelines, skills bubble charts or treegrams and pictograms. This tool can generate really amazing visual infographics that can be completely personalized to whatever you’re seeing in class with our students. This can give us an engaging and easy way to lay out information for our students as a warm up exercise for a language skills activity, or even a grammar explanation.
This one has tons of ready made templates that you can tweak to your specific needs. You can tap into a library of images like arrows, shapes and connector lines. It even lets you personalize the font and colors. Again an very easy tool that allows you to quickly make a stunning visual aid for your class.
Extra teaching tips to using infographics in class:
Be sure you choose the right visual for the information you want to share with your students.
It’s not all about how it looks. Make sure you work on quality content, so that the learning experience can be even more valuable.
Give your students the opportunity to analyze and understand them on their own, then share with a partner, and then get conclusions as a group. This will ensure all students get the hang of it.
Use infographics as prompts to get students participating, talking.
Sometimes I’ll bring in infographics that are wrong or misinformation on purpose, and I have them find the mistakes.
Explaining grammar rules can be so much more understandable and engaging, if it is visually organized instead of explained orally or read out loud from a text book.
I find this is an amazing tool to flip the roles as well. Getting students to use these tools to make summaries, as a project they have to present to the class or as a way to make sure they understood a particular topic.
Let’s take full advantage of this fun way of sharing information with our students.