Incorporating graphic design into my 7th grade ELA and Social Studies classroom can be very valuable. According to the article by Jonna Mae Magno, “Middle school students are of the age where it is hard to keep their attention. But with visual tools, complex data and difficult lessons can now be compressed in an engaging way”. I completely agree that it is very difficult to keep a seventh graders attention. This past year, I began incorporating more graphic designs into my lessons with great success. In Social Studies, my students had to create an infographic for the Bill of Rights. They were engaged, connected, and motivated throughout the entire assignment. They enjoyed using Canva to create their infographic and overall their tests scores on the Bill of Rights were very high. Then later in the year, I had my class partner up with another Social Studies class for an inventors research assignment. They had to create an infographic for their inventor. My students did a fantastic job teaching their partners how to use Canva, and their presentations were very engaging. Jonna Mae Magno also mentioned in her article, “Middle schoolers’ minds are creative, impulsive, moody and easily bummed out. They want to be engaged, connected, motivated and independent”. By using graphic design in the classroom, I was able to engage their minds by connecting to their creative desire to share information in a different way than just a written essay.
Students absorb information is a multitude of ways. Students can gain information from what they see, hear, do to name a few. By incorporating graphic designs into my lessons, I can engage and support more types of learners in my lessons. A lesson that would benefit from incorporating some of the design principles is our World’s Fair project. At the end of the past school year, my colleagues and I decided to try a new project for social studies. We had our students watch part of a documentary on the Chicago World’s Fair and then they had to create their own world’s fair. One part of the project was a map of their fair. Some of their maps were great but a lot of them were lacking in many areas. To make their maps better for next year, we will need to incorporate some of the design principles on font, color, layout, shape, alignment, and proximity into a mini-lesson that is taught before they begin their maps. This would reduce the amount of time I spent with each individual group as they struggled to create a visually appealing map.
Magno, Jonna Mae. “8 Examples of How to Incorporate Infographics in the Classroom.”
Venngage, 17 Apr. 2015, venngage.com/blog/8-examples-on-using-infographics-
in-middle-school-classrooms/. Accessed 4 July 2019.