During our last webinar, we were lucky enough to chat with some educators and media specialists who were using Easel.ly in their schools and classrooms. If you missed that webinar, you can watch the recording here (or scroll to the bottom of this blog!).
We connected with a teacher librarian, Marina Bonomo, who works with 600 K-5 students in North Carolina. She told us that she used Easel.ly for an author research project with her 4th graders and the activity was a big hit!
Marina was nice enough to share her project outline with us and the many other teachers, librarians and media specialists who use Easel.ly.
We hope it helps you organize your own project… and hopefully they’ll be as big of a hit as Marina’s!
Grade: 4th-grade HAG
Assignment Question: What is an infographic?
To set up the infographic project, Marina and her students “talked about how pictures tell a story, then watched the History of infographics.” Then, she showed them a number of examples and they shared a book about infographics.
From there, students chose their favorite authors and I provided the students with a sheet of biographical questions to get them started on their research.
Some of the requirements included:
- Where was your author born?
- Why do they write children’s books?
- Provide a full bibliography of all the author’s books
To show students how to use Easel.ly, Marina “did a demo and shared an example which contained a lot of the information students were asked to provide.” (See image below)
To see Marina’s full Google Slideshow, check out: Examples of Student Work
From there, Marina said: “I turned the students loose to begin experimenting. We shared as we went to look at how their images looked on the presentation screen. We also talked about color and font and style.”
Not only did students complete the project within the outline Marina had given, but they seemed to have fun and were full engaged in the work. “I was blown away at how engaged they were!” Marina shared.
In case you want to engage students in a similar lesson, Marina also shared her resources and standards with us.
Resources for Students:
Students will be required to use 1 website and at least 1 print source.
They will be given a quick refresher of how to access the periodical database.
Final project should include:
- 1 website
- 1 print source
- 1 website evaluation
- 1 bibliography
- 1 infographic
What Standards Does This Project Meet?
North Carolina & Common Core Standards are met with Marina’s project, including:
Use a variety of technology tools to gather data and information (e.g., Web-based resources, e-books, online communication tools, etc.).
Use a variety of technology tools to organize data and information (e.g., word processor, graphic organizer, audio and visual recording, online collaboration tools, etc.).
Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.
Describe the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in a text or part of a text.
Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
Apply criteria to determine appropriate information resources for specific topics and purposes.
Use various types of resources to gather information (including print and online media).
Understand ethical behavior (copyright, not plagiarizing, netiquette) when using resources.
Results of the Project
Thanks to the high levels of engagement the 4th graders gave Marina, she and the students got a lot out of this project. In fact, it was voted as one of the favorite projects by the kids on the school’s End of Year Library Survey!
Students learned a lot about their favorite authors and discovered favorite authors they read as students. “We even had to email one author to find additional biographical information, which lead to a discussion on primary source information,” said Marina.
Students also highlighted their ability to:
- Find multiple sources of information
- Follow copyright/citation requirements
- Share chronology and “themes”
- Use technology in a way appropriate for their age
Overall, the project went smoothly and Marina found a new way to engage students in research projects.
Teacher Tips for Using Easel.ly with Students
Marina says that, even though this was a very popular project and the students enjoyed it, there is always room for improvement.
Her biggest tip is to have “[students] do a linked Google Doc for citations next time. They just did a shared document last time, [but I] love that idea from the webinar!”
Tip: You can simply add a text box in the Easel.ly tool that says “Sources can be found here,” and link to the document using the Easel.ly hyperlink function!
Teach Easel.ly in YOUR Classroom
In case you missed our teacher workshop, here is the full recording of How to Make Infographics with Students: