Last spring I shared an amazing infographic of the world as 100 people on our Facebook page. That piece was made by a London-based graphic designer named Jack Hagley using statistical data compiled by the 100 People Foundation. You've probably seen it hanging in the teacher's room, even.
I recently came across a similar project by a Hong Kong-based designer named Toby Ng. His project dates from 2011, so the numbers themselves are slightly different from the numbers used in the other infographic, but the general patterns still hold true. He has illustrated each statistic as a separate graphic. If the world were a village of 100 people:
- 86 can read and 14 can't read.
- 68 breathe clean air and 32 breathe polluted air.
- 17 speak Chinese, 9 speak English, 8 speak Hindi, 6 speak Spanish, 6 speak Russian, 4 speak Arabic, and 50 speak other languages.
Why not construct a unit out of these infographics? If you teach low-level students, the pictures and language are easy to understand, and could serve as useful input on complicated topics. If you teach high-level students, you can still use these - perhaps in even more open-ended ways, such as asking students to choose the statistic that is most surprising to them and explain why they are surprised. You could also focus on some key words on the Academic Word List as part of this unit: data (List 1), percent (List 1), illustrate (List 3), statistic (List 4), and ratio (List 5) are just a few possibilities for vocabulary study.