A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words…..
An exploration of non-verbal communication through graphing
By Jason Holmes
9th Grade Biology Teacher
They say a picture is worth a thousand words… this adage takes on a very true meaning within the realm of graph interpretation and non-verbal communication embedded into IB learning. Students in the freshman biology courses at Clemente are in the midst of graphical studies and, through interactive and personalized learning, have been immersed in exploration of the power of non-verbal communication through graphing. Students began their study with standard bar and line graphs before expanding into more complex pie charts, compound bars, and scatter plots. Students used introductory notes, self-motivated learning, and creative thinking to express themselves through various types of graphs. Examples of student work indicate mastery of graph construction and interpretation skills and also served as practice for skills students will need both in their high school career and higher education/work-life future. Through this project, students were able to successfully introduce themselves, share personal information, and express who they are through non-verbal diagrams and graphical displays. This project began with students constructing graphs and culminated in student presentations centered on their displays.
Using the IB curriculum along with College Readiness Standards and Common Core State Standards, students were able to show one another the things that made them an individual and a member of the Clemente community. By highlighting the strengths of each member of the class, the positive behaviors, and the motivation and drive to succeed, students were able to work towards building a stronger community within the classroom; a skill that is important as students become acclimated to high school. The IB Learner Profile trait most exemplified by this project is Communication. Students focused on the non-verbal aspect of communication, a practice often times left underappreciated and relegated as a second thought.