One of my goals for this school year was to have the kids become comfortable reading, analyzing, and creating infographics.
I mean, a research essay is all well and good, but if you can't distill your idea into a one-page visual reference, then maybe you don't understand that idea as well as you thought that you did, and you're certainly not doing any favors to others who are trying to understand your idea, too.
To that end, I switched the horse breed research that the children were asked to do each week as homework for their horseback riding class from a pre-printed infographic to one that I required them to create each week from scratch. I use the free version of Piktochart for this, and although the kids have a lot of trouble uploading their images to the correct site so that they'll stay with the infographic when it's downloaded or published, on the whole it's an acceptable infographic creator that's helped them learn the basics of graphic design.
Here's an example of what they create each week. You'll see that the children (originally both in collaboration, but now only Will, since she's the only one taking horseback riding lessons) include both facts and graphics in their infographics. You'll also see that I do not require them to edit misspellings; the research and presentation itself is quite enough to get on with here:
I'm very happy that both kids are comfortable creating basic infographics now. I would like Will to begin to create more complicated, more informative designs, but it's a struggle to get her to modify her particular technique that she's got down pat and can use to whip out a complete infographic in the half an hour before we leave for horseback riding class. We'll soon be skipping a horseback riding session, however, to accommodate various summer travel and camps, so perhaps by the time that more infographics are required, I can work out a study for creating them, ideally outsourcing it to Matt, who's a graphic designer and thus really ought to be handling this entire project for me in the first place, don't you think?