Africa Infographic Project
Before Spring Break, students in seventh grade World Cultures and Geography class completed the Africa Infographic Project—a challenging assignment that combined their study of Africa with the creation of high-quality, interactive, digital infographics using PowerPoint within their OneNote notebooks. Through this six-week-long project, these middle school students strengthened their research, writing, and critical thinking skills, built digital fluency, and expanded their cultural competence.
Click here to view the projects.
This year, Director of Technology Mr. DiGuilio guided the students in learning and implementing the real-world application of Agile planning methods including Scrum and stand up meetings. Agile is a term used to describe a general approach to software development and agile methods, including Scrum, which emphasize teamwork and the ability to respond quickly to change, to create and deploy content focused around the consumer.
“Using Agile planning was a huge change for us this year in terms of how we approached the Africa Infographic Project,” said faculty member Mary Schnitzler. “We would start each class as a Scrum team with a stand-up meeting where we would gather around a white board, review the task list for that day, review what was completed, and celebrate project milestones. We would move Post-It Notes along the board so that we could visually track their progress. There are so many components to this project, and I think it really helped students visually see the project as a whole.”
To begin the project, students selected five African countries they were interested in exploring. Their research included specific information regarding geography and the seven elements of culture: social organization, customs and traditions, language, arts and literature, religion, government, and economic systems.
Before beginning the visual portion of the project, students were asked to narrow their focus to a single country and select three elements of culture to explore in greater depth. Next, students researched the elements of culture in-depth and created detailed pieces of writing. Using Whitfield’s multiple draft writing approach, students received specific feedback regarding how to avoid plagiarism, organization of ideas, sentence structure, word choice, spelling, and grammar.
An infographic is a visual representation of information and data that combines elements of text, images, charts, or diagrams to explain complex issues in a way that can quickly lead to insight and better understanding. Whether online or in print, infographics are effective tools that convey information in a compact and easily navigable format.