Teacher Tap

girl on computerVISUALIZE through Graphic Tools and Learning Tasks

NETS-S 1. Creativity and Innovation
Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.

NETS-S 5. Digital Citizenship
Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior.

Go to the J. Paul Getty Museum educational activities integrating art across the curriculum. Many of the lessons contain image banks and visual resources. Many other sources of image banks are available such as Kitzu.

Let's explore five graphic tools including organizers, maps, images and symbols, diagrams & illustrations, and charts & graphs.


Before asking students to create organizers, it's important that they understand how an organizer might be used. Model the use of an organizer with online experiences.

Go to TimeTree. Ask students to make a visual comparison, then write about the comparison.

Do a Google Image Search for "identification key".

Use visual examples to apply and interpret such as the Mineral Identification Key visual.

Use the standard Google Search for keys that are presented through a series of pages and questions. Ask students to create a visual from the key such as Pond Animals, Mineral Identification Key, Macroinvertebrates, Leaf Key, Bird Identification. You can also search for keys by topics such as insect, plant, bird, mineral, rock, tree, and flower such as flower identification key.

Create your own using the SmartArt in Microsoft Word or PowerPoint. Use Exploratree for organizer starters. Or, use an online tool for creating your own from scratch.

Explore tools for creating your own graphic organizers:

Go to A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods. Explore the many different ways that you and your students can visualize information.

visualizeActivity 1: Use a Google search to explore identification keys.

Activity 2:
Explore the A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods. Pick three and share with a neighbor.


NETS-S 1a. apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.

Take a traditional activity and make it exciting through the use of technology. For instance, read books set in Europe and use Google Maps to explore the settings. For instance, FLIP by Martyn Bedford is set in the United Kingdom. Student could create book trailers and place them on the map such as the FLIP book trailer.

Go to Novelsonlocation. The pins represent books that take place at those locations. This type of activity could be done with books in a particular state, books about a time period such as World War II, or other topics. Google Maps is used for this project.

Go to Google LitTrips to extend the idea to include trips associated with books.

black elk's visionNETS-S 5c. demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning.

Encourage students to learn more about the settings of any book they are reading. Now and in the future. Model the idea of expanding the learning experience through the use of maps and other visuals. When reading a book like Black Elk's Vision by S.D. Nelson, show the timeline in the book. Find the locations on the map. Talk about the distances.

Explore tools for creating your own maps:

visualizeActivity 1: Explore Novelsonlocation or Google LitTrips.

Activity 2: Compare tools for creating your own maps.

Images & Symbols

NETS-S 1b. create original works as a means of personal or group expression.

Learn about the history of the alphabet through a visual. Creating fonts is a great way to create a personal means of expression. Go to Fontstruct to see examples. Then, create an account and use their tools to create your own original font!

It's useful to begin with exploration, before creating your own. Go to the 360cities, Google Panaramo, Gigapan, and Photosynth site. Explore the inside of a Submarine. Examine the Sistine Chapel. Check out the New 7 Wonders and View Your World. Think about a tour you could build.

Use the Hugin Opensource to create Panoramas.

Explore Stereograph website and create your own. Learn about the location.

NETS-S 5b. exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity.

Photo projects don't need to be complex. Check out the Math Trail photo project.

Simple tools encourage success and sharing. Focus on creating simple products such as photographs, collages, cards, or memory boxes. Ask students to create a project, then write about the elements they selected.

Explore tools for creating your own images and symbols:

visualizeActivity 1: Explore Google Panaramo, 360cities or Gigapan. Design an activity involving student use of cameras.

Activity 2: Create a sample project using the tools provided.

Activity 3: Try Apple Photobooth.

Diagrams and Illustrations

NETS-S 1c. use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.

Use interactive diagrams to explore concepts.

Take screen shots when using interactives. Write about the game or use of the tool.

NETS-S 5a. advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.
Read the article Political Cartoons in America.

Before creating your own illustrations in class, examine existing resources. Start at Cartoons for th Classroom. They provide lots of teaching ideas. For more lessons go to Opper Project.

Talk about copyright, fair use, and issues in the use of political cartoons. Discuss copying versus linking to a website.

Explore tools for creating your own diagrams and illustration:

NETS-S 5d. exhibit leadership for digital citizenship.

Ask students to create a comic on the topic of digital citizenship dealing with an important teen issue such as texting and driving, privacy, use of passwords, social networks, copyright, etc.


visualizeActivity 1: Explore interactives, take screen shots, paste into Word or PowerPoint, and write about the image.

Activity 2: Explore comics. Create a comic.

Charts & Graphics

NETS-S 1d. identify trends and forecast possibilities.

Go to Public Data Explorer.

Use existing data to create a chart, graph, or map.

Explore tools for creating your own charts and graphs:

visualizeActivity 1: Explore data sites. Design an assignment.

Activity 2: Compare two graphing tools.

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