Friday Visualization #5

Today's visualization has some clear applications for education with potential to spark some great classroom conversations.  It's called We Are Multicolored and it allows the user to create his or own amalgamated flag from the symbolic elements of other flags. The application is easy to get started... you simply select three flags based on three questions:

  1. Where is your home?
  2. What other country has affected you?
  3. Where have you dreamed of going?

Once you pick the countries you can pull off all the individual elements and create your own unique flag.  One nice bonus feature of the site is that it will tell you what the symbolism in each flag means.

I used the following three flags:

  1. USA - It's where I'm from
  2. Haiti - A country that has affected me
  3. Japan - A country I dream of visiting

And came up with this design:

Here are some ideas for how you could use We Are Multicolored (complete with correlated Virginia Standards for grades 5-7):

  • Have students create flags and present them to the class (Art 5.5, 5.9, 6.2, 7.14).  Before the creator shares, let other students guess which flags were used.  The presenter can then share why he or she selected the flags that were used (LA 5.3d; 6.2b; 7.1a,b,e).  Use Google Earth to locate unfamiliar countries - also a good opportunity to talk about major landforms, water features, longitude, latitude, etc. (USI.1f,g; USI.2a,d; USII.1f,g).  
  • Change the questions... have students pick flags from countries of family ancestors, a flag from a country currently in the news (make sure to discuss why it is in the news), have them select and mix WWII axis or allies flags (USII.7a) 
  • Use the flags to lead a conversation about diversity, culture and ethnicity. This is aligned with Virginia's Workplace Readiness Skills (especially diversity awareness)

Like Wordle, We Are Multicolored is a simple, visual and creative application that can have some meaningful, long-lasting implications in your classroom. Try it out today.