The Art Of Historic Analysis

The infographics world is chock full of visuals that appeal to the teaching and understanding of world history. From student submissions I can assess at a glance, their ability to contextualize comparisons between historic events or to identify patterns of change & continuity. Why is this important? Students of Advanced Placement World History (#WHAP) know that determining the meaning of words and phrases to present analysis is the difference between zero credit and that perfect score recognized by colleges worldwide. Misinterpretation of what is asked in the standard essay questions can translate into student writing at length to develop the wrong answer.

2011 AP Comparative Essay Question

Analyze similarities and differences in the rise of TWO of the following empires. (Aztec, Mongol & or West African states)

Hundreds of students made comparisons between Aztecs an Mongols but failed to explain how each empire rose to power thereby losing the thesis credit. So how can this habit be corrected?The quick access for assembly of Vhemes and objects to illustrate understanding was achieved in one class session and refined for homework. Class critique and analysis allows students to immediately identify what they know and what they need to know to answer all parts of the question. Deciding how to illustrate an idea also pushes students to quantify their collective understanding especially if they publish for larger communities of WHAP students.

Aztecs vs Mongols infographics

While my example may not the best visual ever created, it and others in the infographic library are available for students to improve upon. That process of editing and redesigning is also giving students the propensity for research that relies on building specific content and in depth knowledge. And that is the habit that educators want students to learn.

This post was written by Whitney Kaulbach who has a wealth of experience being a public school teacher. Check out Whitney’s blog and Twitter

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