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Have you ever heard the expression: “Words can’t describe how I feel”? That phrase always strikes me as lazy, because I can’t help thinking: “Describing is exactly what words are for. Don’t just give up, reach into your lexicon and find the words you need!”
I cannot imagine that you would not be so easily defeated by a concept that is difficult to explain. You can dream up strings of synonyms in a few moments and turn them into precise and memorable prose (or even a poem, as Harry showed us last week).
All the same, with the advent of the internet and all the tools and resources that it provides, it is actually relatively easy to describe ideas and experiences, not just with words, but also with a range of graphics, pictures, symbols and numbers. Of course, that was always possible, but now this kind of description has become a kind of digital art form. It is called an infographic.
Designing an infographic requires research, planning and creativity. You need some interesting fonts or lettering, a clear heading and several subheadings, clever and evocative symbols or pictures, information in words and figures, and a dash of flair.
Your task, after some internet roaming, is ultimately to create an infographic to summarise the life, customs, skills and idiosyncrasies of the Samurai. The links I have provided below are fairly straightforward and, I hope, informative and interesting.
Before you begin with your historical reading, contemplate how you can best design your infographic by admiring the clever examples that I have found over the past few months. You will find links to them below.
In this way you can further develop your skills in summarising material as well as extend your knowledge. You may work in twos or threes for this task.
- Simple summary of the Samurai’s role
- 10 facts about the Samurai
- Samurai costume and culture
- A brief summary of the concept of bushido
Examples of Infographics:
- Then and Now: How Technology in Schools Has Changed Over Time
- Music and Learning (especially for the music campers)
- The History of the English Language (fairly accurate, except for the Viking horns)
- Seven Ways to Improve Your Memory (theoretically)
- A Field Guide to Procrastinators (this one is really a comic)
- The Truth About Brain Training (be sceptical)
- Why Language Learning is Important (a subtle advertisement for German!)
- Standing on the Shoulders of Giants (a quotation from Isaac Newton)