TEACHING THE CORE has a great series of blog posts on many aspects of close reading, writing argument and debate.
I also like this video on writing analytical paragraphs. I’ve always believed less is more, so writing tight, to the point paragraphs is a skill worth doing. We don’t have to write full essays to teach important skills of writing.
Here are more youtube videos by this teacher Topics include: writing thesis statements, analytical writing, dialectical journals and more.
CAUTION – SOME LANGUAGE (BTW the FCC comments site crashed after this Oliver’s plea)
Infographics have exploded onto the scene both as educational tools but also used widely in media. It is one of the most popular ways to present, organize and interpret data. Unfortunately, like all information, it can be manipulated and subjected to bias and inaccuracy. So while we have many attractive and informative visualizations. The classic How to Lie with Statistics is a great book that outline s the basic ways the information can be skewed and misrepresented. Like all information, it can be powerful in the negative as well as the positive.
Hans Roslings beautiful use of graphics are an example. Below are links to critical thinking/reading using infographics.
I’ll admit it. In my early years as a teacher, I thought that encouraging students to improve their writing invariably involved encouraging greater depth, adding more detail, crafting more complex sentences. In short, I implied to my students that the most valuable revisions involved adding to our work and that writing better equaled writing longer.
Enter the infographic, the twenty-first century text/structure/genre/design that blows my earlier beliefs about “better = longer” right out of the water.
As texts compete for attention with soundbites, scrolling headlines, tweets, and vines, writers and readers alike are seeing the value of text that uses visual design features to organize ideas, provide background, and emphasize key facts in ways that make it easier for readers to engage a topic thoughtfully. I have always encouraged my student writers to “swim deeply” when they read and write, moving beyond the basics, braving the imposing waters at the “deep end of the pool.” Reading and writing infographics is like cannonballing into ten feet of water — you splash in deeper and more quickly.
I knew that this year I wanted to have students experiment in creating their own infographics, so I made an early decision to build infographics into our Article of the Week routine (inspired by Kelly Gallagher). I occasionally substituted an infographic or two instead of the news articles or essays they were accustomed to reading. Of course, the reaction was positive. The first thing students noticed was the substantial time savings in reading an infographic or two versus a traditional article. It was like asking them to readAnimal Farm after completing Great Expectations — there was an immediate “can do” reaction. Continue reading