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how do i understand and analyze

visual forms of

civic information online?

Infographics are an increasingly common type of visual information in the digital age used to display and explain information or data. They are often used to help people understand complex civic and political issues. The following lesson plans were written by a teacher named Nicole Edwards in Oakland, CA as a part of the Educating for Democracy in the Digital Age Initiative in order to aid students in understanding and analyzing infographics.

Part 1: Understanding Infographics

(45-60 minutes)

The first lesson “The Key Parts of an Infographic” is written around an infographic focused on the importance of emotional intelligence. However, you could use this lesson and choose a different infographic that is relevant to your content and students. In this lesson, students define the four parts of an infographic: the first impression, the story, the data, and the strategy.

Part 2: Analyzing Infographics

(45-60 minutes)


In the second lesson “Analyzing Infographics,” students study an infographic in-depth by analyzing the first impression, the story, the data, and the strategy. Students could work in pairs or small groups to do this.

Part 3: Creating an Infographic

(1-2 class periods)


In the third lesson titled “Creating an Infographic,” students plan out and then create their own infographic summarizing what they learned from their research project. (The activities under Question #4 suggest some ways to support students through a research project, so we suggest completing those activities before doing this lesson which asks students to create their own infographic.)


Extension Ideas


For more extensions ideas, you can also look at these two resources for educators created by Youth Radio:

  • DIY: How To Make An Infographic -- This module gives some background on different types of infographics as well as guides you through the steps to create an infographic that tells a clear and compelling story.

  • Telling Stories with Data -- This module emphasizes the importance of data and gives you a sense of how Youth Radio’s professional producers and teen reporters use data to create effective news stories about important issues.

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