A few years ago I took a digital literacy class and I was immediately hooked on infographics.  I love how clear and simple graphics can make information more accessible and interesting.  I started making and using infographics for use in my classes using some online software, and I watched student engagement increase.  Their enthusiasm got me thinking- how could students share and learn information more independently using graphic means of communicating?  And that’s where this project was born.

Because some of my students don’t have internet access or parents were uncomfortable with some of the internet components of creating an infographic, this project is designed as a paper infographic but would easily translate to a digital assignment.

Here’s the basic plan:

  1. Assign students a Marian apparition and give them time to do research.  I also try to show them websites to search on or provide paper copies of the stories.
  2. Hand out the assignment sheet.  Here is the Mary infographic sheet I give my students as an editable word document.
  3. Go over the requirements and make sure students are clear on what should be included.  I normally show a fair number of examples to help students know what to do.
  4. Let the creativity commence!

Why learn about Marian apparitions?  First of all, the stories are just great reads!  Also, there are often many things in the story that we can relate to- the uncertainty of war, the illness of a loved one, the openness of youth.  Mary often shares a message of hope and mercy to a world that desperately needs those things.  Our students need these things as well.

Why share information like this?  Students need to become an expert on their Marian apparition to be able to share with the class the most important facts.  It also gives them a chance to use art to connect to the subject matter.  This year I am going to try to help students rely more on graphics than text to tell their stories.  I will post this years infographics and the rubrics towards the end of May!

There’s also a lot of great extension activities that can go with this project- you could have students who learned about the same Marian Apparition share in between decades of a class rosary.  You could post around the school and then have a Mary trivia day.  In lieu of a traditional May Crowning, students could dress as Mary from around the world and tell the story of the apparition they researched.