Science knowledge is often communicated through visual representations – graphs, diagrams and infographics. Each type of visual representation has literacy components that students may need support to understand.
The science capability ‘Interpret representations’ encourages students to think about how data is presented, what the representation tells us and how it gets the message across.
Infographics provide an effective format to show a variety of things in a single figure. The article Understanding infographics provides background information on how they are constructed and why they are useful communication tools.
In this activity, students observe and interpret infographics from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ’s Our atmosphere and climate 2020 report. The activity includes probing questions to help students understand the ways in which infographics present information. It also includes a simple framework for creating an infographic.
By the end of this activity, students should be able to:
- develop literacy skills for interpreting the information in an infographic
- discuss the purpose of an infographic
- discuss how an infographic gets the message across
- use this information to design and create a simple infographic.
Download the Word file (see link below).
The article Our atmosphere and climate – introduction has links to resources that inform students (and the general public) about the state of New Zealand’s climate.
Climate change resources – planning pathways provides pedagogical advice and links to the New Zealand Curriculum. It includes an interactive planner that groups Hub resources into key science and teaching concepts.
The Department of Conservation and the Science Learning Hub have collaborated to create a series of interactives that feature many of DOC’s marine infographics.
- Marine diversity in Aotearoa New Zealand
- New Zealand marine habitats
- Threats to marine habitats
- Areas of marine ecological importance
- Mussel reefs and biodiversity
These activities also support students to create and interpret visual representations using climate change data.
Te Kāhui o Matariki – interpreting infographics provides additional opportunities to explore the literacy components of infographics.
The Science Learning Hub has curated a number of infographics in our Science infographics Pinterest board.
This resource has been produced with the support of the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ. (c) Crown Copyright.