Creating visualisations with infographics

If you want to create visualisations using free infographic apps, it’s really a matter of preference as to which you might choose, and you should probably play around with a few to see what appeals to you. The process of experimentation is valuable because it requires you to think about things like themes, character traits, etc. but also what it is you want to illustrate and how you might do it.  You have to think broadly at first, and then drill down to the details you want to use and how the arrangement of these details is most effective.

Ms Carroll shared with me ‘Ten free tools for creating infographics’ which is a great place to start. I started playing around with Canva to illustrate the theme of evil in poetry we’ve studied this year. I used a template because it was recommended for starters and uploaded an image from the blog as an alternative background to solid colour. Interesting that when I enlarge the image it is blurry in the blog draft but not in the published post.


I added a collection of websites/images/text/video on the theme of evil from our blog into Thinglink – it’s so easy!  I really like it but I guess it only works as an interactive web image, not as a poster.

Next I tried out Easelly. I exported my own photo as a background and tried out the text and objects. Text was easy, and I could drag and drop the objects (in this case: animals). And the selection is limited but still reasonable without signing up to pay $3 a month. I might create another one with more text and some charts.


Dipity is a timeline app which links to websites and videos; Piktochart looks nice too. Here’s someone who has tried both but really loves Canva. Judging by this person’s posters, I’ve jumped the gun by playing with Canva before taking the time to watch video tutorials. So I recommend you do just that – watch the tutorials to save time and frustration. This blogger also says that Piktochart also has a tool to make charts, maps and videos but she hasn’t tried them. Her post is worth reading although the comments that follow are not all positive. The thing is with apps – your experience may be different from others’ so try a couple, watch the video tutorials and have a go. I think there is enough choice amongst the free templates.

I tried Canva again to make a poster advertising Tea Duelling in the library next term. It’s not a great example but I liked the selection of text graphics which could make dot points more interesting. Again it looks blurry in the draft but not in the published post.


Venngage is another free app which seems to be good for charts with nice images/logos. I like the way it gives you clear descriptions for its options, eg under ‘infographics’ you can select ‘stastical, informational, process, comparison, timeline, geographic, charts and tutorial. It’s definitely worth a look.



Rosewater Ch 2: Eliot pulls a Hamlet

Eliot writes to Sylvia as though he is Hamlet and she is Ophelia from Shakespeare’s play. Research the play on the internet and comment on the use of this allusion by Vonnegut.  Watch this SparkNotes video to familiarise yourself with the plot.

What aspects of the play’s themes and characters are being referenced here in the story of Eliot and Sylvia?

Money, power and the American Dream

When Kurt Vonnegut wrote God Bless You, Mr Rosewater in 1965, he was writing about an America divided by wealth.  Then, CEOs made about 20 times as much as the average worker.  By 2011 CEOs made 231 times as much as the average worker. So what has happened since then?

Check out top property prices for Manhattan in recent times (see table below) and note the sale of one of the penthouses in 740 Park Avenue, the building with the most billionaires living in it in the US.


Built in 1929 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s grandfather, this building of 31 residences is one of the world’s most exclusive places to live.


So who lives here, at 740 Park Avenue, New York?  The answer is: not just anyone.  One has to apply to buy a residence and must demonstrate a liquid net worth of 100 million dollars to be considered by the co-op.

Watch the WhyPoverty documentary Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream to learn about how the wealth divide has deepened in America.  Find out how money talks in the halls of power in Washington and how the capacity for people born into extreme poverty to move out of their situation is now harder than ever…

There Will Be Blood quotations




You can also access my running notes which details the film, scene by scene, and captures some of the key dialogue.  Compiled in the dark while I watched the film, I can’t vouch for their typing accuracy but there should be a lot there for you to look through to jog your memories.


Click here to link to the IMDB page of quotations from ‘There Will Be Blood.’  There will be evidence here that you can use in your essays.