We are constantly looking for new ways to engage our students and get them interested in what we have to say.
I’ve found 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. You could always give any one of these a try as well.
- Abc Ya
- Tag Crowd
- Word It Out
- Make Word Mosaic
- You Are Your Words
This is a great tool to make your own charts, graphs or Venn diagrams. Even though it may seem like something a math teacher might use, I love making simple ones to get my students to describe, compare and contrast. Besides the fact it can be used with the IELTS task 1 essay, you can also use it for speaking activities.
You could also 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 like 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 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. Another alternative to this one is Canva.
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 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 with quality content. This will be what ultimately offers a valuable experience.
- 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. (Think-Pair-Share)
- Use infographics as prompts to get students participating.
- You could try to take an infographic that has misinformation on purpose and 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.
- Also, use it to flip your classroom. Getting students to use these tools to make summaries, like a standalone project they have to present to the class, or as a way to assess their knowledge.
We hope you share with us other ways you use visual aids in class!