Learning Resource Type

Learning Activity

Using Graphic Texts to Make Decisions

Subject Area

English Language Arts




Students will reflect on their previous analysis of their chosen graphic text on the Graphic Texts in Action form and make a decision based on the information in the graphic text. They will verbally summarize the content of the graphic text to a small group in class. Other group members will use the Backward Note-Taking Strategy to make a decision based on the graphic text and summary of each group member. The group members will discuss each team member’s decision and compare and/or contrast it to their own until every group member has had a chance to share, summarize, predict, and compare or contrast decisions.  


    English Language Arts (2021) Grade(s): 10


    Analyze and evaluate information from graphic texts to draw conclusions, defend claims, and make decisions.

    Unpacked Content



    • Graphic texts
    • Draw conclusions
    • Defend claims
    • Make decisions


    Students know:
    • Graphic texts include information like tables, graphs, charts, digital dashboards, flow charts, timelines, forms, maps, and blueprints, that can be used to draw conclusions, defend argumentative claims, and make decisions.


    Students are able to:
    • Identify and analyze information presented in graphic texts.
    • Draw conclusions, defend claims, and make decisions using information learned from graphic texts.


    Students understand that:
    • Graphic texts can be "read" and analyzed using the same skills used to analyze printed texts.
    • Information learned through graphic sources can be used to draw conclusions, defend claims, and make decisions.


    Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    The students will:

    • make a decision or state an action that needs to be taken based on the information from their graphic text.
    • compare or contrast their decisions and/or action plans within a small group.

    Activity Details

    The teacher will:

    1.  Give the students time to read over and reflect upon their responses from the Graphic Texts in Action form.  
    2. Instruct the students to consider what decision(s) could be made or what action(s) they feel should be taken based on the information in the graphic text.  For example, a student whose graph showed that prisons are overcrowded may say that more prisons should be built, prison sentences should be shortened, etc.  There may be more than one decision or needed action, but there should be at least one.  Instruct them to jot down or remember their decision(s).
    3. Break the students up into groups.
    4. Distribute the note-taking sheets and tell students to write their names at the top in the blank.
    5. Explain that each student will: 
    • Swap note-taking sheets around as each “sharer” will write their name and decisions or actions needed in the right-hand column of each person’s sheet (each sharer will repeat this for each group member’s sheet but will not need to complete this section on their own sheet).  Tell the students to cover their responses on each sheet with a sticky note before passing it on to the next group member. Return note-taking sheets to the original note-taker whose name is in the blank at the top.
    • Take turns, following the time allotment directed by the teacher,  showing and summarizing their graphic text, either from their own laptop, in printed form, or on a digital platform (such as Padlet or Google Drive) and giving their group mates time to complete the first column of the corresponding sharer on the note-taking sheet without discussing it. 
    • Now, remove the sticky note to reveal the action or decision of the sharer.  
    • Discuss these decisions or actions by comparing or contrasting the various responses within the group.  All group members should contribute to the discussion and defend their claims using evidence from the graphic text.  
    • Continue this process until all group members have shared their text, the rest have had a chance to respond on the note-taking sheet, and the group has discussed all of the graphic texts.  
    • Return their completed note-taking sheets to the teacher.


    Assessment Strategies

    Assessment Strategies

    According to your established grading procedures:

    • Collect note-taking sheets as the exit slip from each student at the end of class.  Review their responses to verify that they made a decision based on analysis of the information presented in the graphic text. 
    • As the small groups meet, monitor their discussions to determine that students are participating by comparing or contrasting their decisions or needed actions based on their analysis of the graphic texts.


    Allow students to share and respond with their group mates on a digital version of the note-taking sheet if they are ready and prepared to do so.  

    Add a column to the note-taking sheet that requires the student to cite their textual evidence or to record ways to solve a problem demonstrated by their graphic text.

    Provide students the opportunity to further research their topic and create a product to share that research.



    Break students who need support into pairs instead of small groups.

    Use conversation stems to prompt students who are struggling with the discussion portion of the learning activity:

    • My decision on this graphic text is different from yours in that…
    • My decision is the same as yours in that…
    • We used the same piece of evidence to…
    • I made my decision based on this evidence…

    Give students a chance to verbalize their responses to the note-taking sheet before writing them down.

    Approximate Duration

    Total Duration

    31 to 45 Minutes

    Related Learning Activities

    Learning Activity (Before)

    Learning Activity (During)

    Learning Activity (After)

    Background and Preparation

    Background / Preparation

    Teacher Preparation: 

    • Use your learning management system or cloud-based platform to make sure you and your students have access to their selected graphic text and Graphic Texts in Action form responses.
    • Familiarize yourself with the Backward Note-Taking Strategy and sheet and make copies for all students.
    • Prepare to break students up into small groups according to your classroom procedures.
    • Determine your time setting for each student to share in their groups and prepare to operate the timer as needed.
    • Be ready to monitor groups, collect the Backward Note-Taking sheets as students finish the activity, and assess each student’s performance according to your classroom grading procedures. 

    Student Preparation: 

    • Bring laptop and pencil to class.
    • Be able to access and be familiar with your responses on the Graphic Texts in Action form.
    • Be ready to share your graphic text, view and analyze other graphic texts, discuss them, defend claims with textual evidence, and make decisions based on the information. 

    Materials and Resources

    Materials and Resources

    1. Graphic Texts in Action form (previously completed by students in the Graphic Texts in Action learning activity)
    2. Laptop or computer for each student to access their completed form and graphic text.
    3. Backwards Note-Taking Sheet for each student (variation of Backward Note-Taking Strategy on p. 14 of the Purposeful Planning document from Purposeful Planning Guide provided by the Alabama Reading Initiative) and pencils
    4. Full stick sticky notes, such as Post-it Super Sticky Full Stick Notes or 4A Sticky Full Adhesive Notes
    5. Timer


    Digital Tools / Resources