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summary lead : The first paragraph of a news story in which the writer presents a synopsis of two or more actions rather than focusing on any one of them. News Reporting & Writing (Eighth Edition) by the Missouri Group. Copyright 2005. Reproduced by permission of Bedford/St. Martins.

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Jason Skiba
Publications Teacher
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Lesson Plans

Introduction to Infographics

Introduction to Infographics

Jason Skiba of Battle Creek Central High School in Battle Creek, Mich.

Jason Skiba
Battle Creek Central High School
Battle Creek, Mich.

Title: Introduction to Infographics


A brief (usually one day-one night assignment) assignment to get students to recognize infographics and the way that they can add visual art to a page without photos. This is a beginning assignment. Later, I show them how, using computer programs, we can apply the process to our actual newspaper.


Students will be able to recognize different aspects of a newspaper.


Students will be able to recognize and produce basic infographics.

Generative Objects

  • Tim Harrower’s Book “The Newspaper Designer’s Handbook”
  • Copies of various newspaper and magazines, especially USA Today
  • Paper and art materials (glue, scissors, markers, colored pencils)

Understanding Goals

  • How are some other ways information can be passed on to readers other than copy?
  • What are some ways art can be used on a page that isn’t clip art or photos?
  • How can you draw readers into reading basic information without placing it in the text?


  • The class starts out with some examples from different newspapers of the use of infographics. We discuss how the infographic adds art to a page when photos can’t be used or when there is information in the text that could be produced graphically.
  • We then segue way into Harrower’s book, talking about the chapter on sidebars and infographics.
  • Using Harrower’s chapter on sidebars and infographics as examples, students will then design their own infographics. I usually assign them 15 of the 18 examples, whichever they choose. Using their art materials, they can draw, paint, glue cut out, whatever they need to create examples of the infographics shown.
  • Extra credit is given to those students who decide to work on the computers in Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign.


I grade these on a complete/not complete scale. Since this is a short, basic, introductory assignment, I don’t look at artwork per se. More focus is placed on whether or not they understand the way that the infographic conveys the information.

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