Monday, August 29, 2011

S'More Infographics and Other Sweet Facts

Source: Forbes
To get younger students used to looking at infographics, why not use what they know: sweets. They will already have prior knowledge about the topic, since most kids have had a mouth full at some point. Let's face it, what better way to get them engaged in the information? Start with The Art and Science of S'Mores. It's not only "the perfect group camping treat," but also the perfect infographic for a group discussion. It has everything from a graph about the marshmallow roasting scale to the "eternal question" of how to roast them -- glowing embers or flames? Kids will savor the notion of thinking about all the different pieces of information.

Source: Classes and Careers
Two other infographics that focus on sweets that would be good to use with younger students are The Candy Industry and High School Sweet Tooth. Both provide a wealth of visuals, data and information. The Candy Industry is designed to look like a game board that starts with a brief history. Moving down the squares, you cross the paths of charts and consumption for a little math. Further along is the section on geography, complete with a map of popular candies by sale in foreign countries. Financial information is next, with leading manufacturers and the most popular candy by sales, M&Ms. Keep moving along the board for more math with weights and measures, including calories, and finish with some unusual candy ingredients. What's nice, too, is that this "sweet" infographic provides the sources used for creating it. Kids will also love looking at this one, because it is so colorful and full of fun facts they can sink their teeth into. It also is interdisciplinary in nature, covering a multitude of things for different subjects.

Source: Newsilike
The other, High School Sweet Tooth, claims to have created the graphic through a survey fielded to 500 Americans, ages 13-17, with the use of social networks. Not exactly scientific, but nevertheless interesting for the purposes of introducing younger students to the world of infographics. Like its counterpart mentioned above, this colorful and playful infographic illustrates the results of a survey that set out to gauge the candy cravings of teens. It provides chart data for how often they eat candy and where they usually buy it. It even has a little media literacy built into the survey that asked about recognizable slogans and how well candy could be identified without the packaging.

All three of these infographics make good instructional resources for working with students. The subject matter is familiar and provides an identifiable place to begin learning to analyze information, data and images that make up these types of visualizations. When you finish with these, try looking at "S'More."

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