Students need to be able to compare and use different formats of information. Think about the many ways that pictures, words, and sounds convey meaning. How is a photograph different from a piece of clipart? How do visuals convey information? How do visuals have different meaning depending on the way they show ideas? How are people, places, and things portrayed? What about realism and historical accuracy? Are serious or humorous resources needed for particular situations?
Design an activity that uses photographs, clipart, and line art of the same concept. Combine a social studies and communication arts standard. Consider writing a class book with one story in clipart and another story with photographs. Also, think about on and off computer activities such as word cards.
Let's use a review of state symbols as an example. Notice that the project includes clipart, photographs, audio, and a place to write. Clipart of the Pennsylvania state insect often doesn't look like the actual firefly, so it's important to also provide photographs. Students also need to distinguish the firefly from other insects. In this case, students are asked to delete the insects that aren’t fireflies. They can tell they made the right choice when they see the smile under the firefly. To keep the assignments short, consider creating each symbol as its own PowerPoint document. You may also wish to save the document as a template. Now, create your own.
Download and explore the State Symbol Starter: Firefly (PPT)
Help students see that information comes in different forms such as words, pictures, and sounds. Also, show different ways to represent ideas visually such as photographs, clipart, and line art (see the Washington example). Also use artwork (see the example below of fields). These activities will help students transfer learning to new situations. For example, the economics activity provides students with both clipart and photos. Students are asked: What are goods and services? Look at each picture. Does it show the use of goods or services? Move the picture to see what it says underneath. Choose one picture that shows goods and one that shows a service. Write about each.
Download and explore Art Starter: Paintings of Workers in Field (PPT)
Download and explore Mining Starter: Ways of thinking about mining visuals (PPT)
Download and explore Economics Starter: Goods & Services (PPT), Children and the Economy (PPT)
Download and explore George Washington Starter: Washington (PPT)
Download and explore Community Workers Starter: Clipart (PPT) version, Photographs (PPT) version.
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