Big Ideas in Literacy
Relationship Between Scientific Graphics and Text Activity
The following interactive activity provides a model for helping students develop their literacy in text structure, in particular the important relationship between graphic elements and text in expository science writing. The challenge is to read a graphic without explanatory text to gain an appreciation of the elements that need to be included for a graphic to be readable. An accompanying paragraph is used to then develop a sense of how graphics and text are complementary in science writing. Click below to begin.
Reflect: List two to three additional graphics that would help support the main text of the interactive. For example, would it be helpful to have a representation of the periodic table of the elements with the members of the platinum family highlighted? The graphic in the interactive lacked a figure legend. <p><strong>figure legend</strong><br /> A very concise text that accompanies a figure (table, data plot, graphic, photo) and helps the figure stand alone and be interpreted by the reader without requiring that accompanying text in the main body of the article be read.</p> Generally speaking, a figure legend includes the title of the figure and a terse description meant to be the minimal amount of information necessary to read a figure, but not necessarily fully understand it. Consider writing a figure legend for the graphic that is 80 words or less.