The Noun Project and Dual Coding

A good deal has been written about dual coding recently. The Learning Scientists explain the process in a typically clear and precise article. Other good examples of its use in the classroom have been shared by the likes of Kate Jones.

One problem I have been met with is scepticism from my pupils on the efficacy of dual coding. One request to annotate their timelines with ‘small drawings’ was met with consternation and grumbling.

I realised my mistake was that I had failed to model the process. As such, I have tried to incorporate dual coding into a few lessons, most recently as a recap exercise with a group of Year 9 pupils who had just finished studying the rise of Hitler.

I created the worksheet below using images from an excellent website called the Noun Project.  Through a combination of paired and teacher-led class discussion we established what each image represented (see below picture for answers) and then recalled both key detail about the event and why it was significant for Hitler’s rise to power. Finally, we drew links between different factors (e.g. bottom left to top – how the Depression led to growth of Communism, and how Hitler benefitted from this) and discussed their relative importance.

The pupils seemed to enjoy:

  •  Figuring out (and therefore thinking about) what each image represented
  • Having all the key factors on a single page

I may in future enquiries – again after modelling the task – aim to get pupils to design their own, probably encouraging them initially to the Noun Project. I will write again about its impact (if any).

Hitler recap

Left hand column, top to bottom: Treaty of Versailles (although some pupils suggested the 25 Point Programme, which is also valid), the Beer Hall Putsch, the Wall St. Crash and Depression

Right hand column, top to bottom: Fear of Communism and support of business, Propaganda (speeches and posters)., the role of key individuals (Hindenburg, Papen).

** I intend to update this with post with a completed version of the above **

A word version of the above sheet can be found here.

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