Easel.ly for Motivation, Engagement and Assessment

Teachers in the United States are fortunate to be teaching at a time when technology companies are increasingly offering their products for free or at a low cost to teachers for instructional use. Teachers interested in blended learning can use tech tools to give students choice to complete assignments.

Tech tools also offer teachers the opportunity to engage and motivate students to learn and complete quality of work tasks. Easel.ly is one of those excellent digital tools that teachers can use to assign their students create colorful and attractive digital posters – as well as assess their understanding of the content being taught.  

Three years ago, I learned about Easel.ly in one of my Digital Literacies Collaborative Google Hangout study sessions. I used it with one of my 7th grade science classes and was amazed at how some students could create works of art in the context of learning specific information.

As I incorporated this tool into my teaching, I learned that Easel.ly not only offered me opportunities to engage and motivate my students, but it also allowed them to show me what they learned at the end of a unit in my Self-Contained/Co-Teaching Science classes.

My Easel.ly Project

This past 2016-2017 school year, I designed and delivered a lesson along with my co-teacher, Mr. Andre Antoine, where we had 8th graders create a digital poster using Easel.ly. Using the tool, they had to answer the question, “What Causes the Day/Night Cycle on Earth?” as part of Unit 3: The Sun, Earth, and Moon System. This assignment was designed to reinforce the students’ concept of what causes night and day.

How the Project Was Organized

For this Day and Night project, students would use their notes, readings from previous classes and from selected suggested resources in the form of digital text, online video tutorials, and interactive websites to provide facts to answer the focus question.

Note: If you use Google Classroom, post assignment handout and all resources there. It makes it easier for students to retrieve material needed to work on their digital posters in class and at home.

Here is my lesson plan for the Day/Night Cycle project. It includes the literacy standards, materials, and expectations for students. You can also refer to What Causes the Day/Night Cycle on Earth? Digital Poster handout assignment for more details.

infographic rubric

The Follow Up

After you deliver your lesson, make sure to provide immediate follow up to the assignment. Ask them to share their Easel.ly digital poster draft via email and give them a deadline to submit it. As students keep adding content to their digital poster drafts, give them feedback via email or in person. You can also be creative and create your video tutorials with suggestions. See examples below.

Digital Poster Feedback Video  

infographic feedback

The Assessment

As you read through your students’ digital poster drafts, you will have to identify content errors, ask them to go back to the resources you suggested to them to read, or watch and fix the errors. Ask them to send you a message informing you that they made the edits. In your final suggestions, focus on giving them feedback on the design component of the assignment, e.g.:

  • Highlight titles in different colors
  • Add attractive images relevant to content
  • Highlight keywords in bold, etc.

infographic lesson feedback

Extend the Learning

At the end of the project, you may ask students to present their digital posters to the class. This activity will give students another opportunity to internalize knowledge learned as they worked through the assignment. They will get a chance to practice their speaking and presentation skills, as well.

Samples of Student Posters

student poster made with easelly

student infographic made with easelly

Resources for Deeper Easel.ly Exploration

If you’re a teacher wondering how to incorporate digital tools like Easel.ly into the classroom, you’re not alone. Thankfully, Easel.ly provides a number of resources for teachers to help them use infographics in their classes!

Here are a few to get you started:

And last but not least, the Easel.ly YouTube channel is a great way to find quick answers to your questions about the Easel.ly creation tool. It’s also a great resource for students to explore when they’re curious about design and organization!
Hopefully Clemencia’s great advice on engagement and assessment using Easel.ly helps you develop your own lesson plans. Feel free to leave us a comment to let us know how your lesson went, or share your Ss creations on Twitter! Tag us @easel_ly and @Acevedo493

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