Digital Skills: Developing Online Assessment Skills in Everyday Classroom Activities Western Reserve Public Media

Testing Gladwell’s Outliers Theories
After reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, students will work in partners to “test” some of the major premises presented by Gladwell and present that information in an infographic.

I can:
  • Apply the central ideas from an informational text to multiple situations
  • Research an assigned person using INFOhio and internet search engines
  • Use MLA format for documentation
  • Create an infographic based on my research
Tech Skills:
  • Keyboarding

  • Internet search/databases

  • Using digital content in an infographic

  • Layout and design

Materials and Resources:

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

List of people considered to be outliers in the eyes of society or other infographic program

MLA documentation guide or OWL@Purdue Online Writing Lab

List of “Outliers” (sample)


Grade Level:
  • 9th-12th Grades

Subject Area:
  • English/Business

Students are paired up and given the name of a person to research. Each of the people appear on lists as “most successful” or “top” people in multiple fields. This list is endless and can be adapted to any purpose.

Students will research the assigned person in an attempt to prove/disprove the major tenets/components that determine a person’s identification as an “outlier” according to Gladwell:

  • Accumulative advantage
  • Relative Age Phenomena
  • The Matthew Effect
  • The 10,000 Hour Rule
  • Cultural Legacies
  • Concerted Cultivation

After completing the research, students will create an infographic using Easely. The infographic will highlight the ways in which the assigned person does or does not exemplify the common elements of an outlier as outlined by Gladwell.

The tenets of a good infographic will be observed:

  • images/visuals should be more prevalent than text
  • Text should be brief and should reinforce the images presented
  • Images should “tell” the story and be relevant to the point being made
  • There should be a conclusion drawn.
Citation of Sources

RI.11-12.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.

RI.11-12.2 Analyze informational text development.

RI.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem

SL.11-12.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.

SL.11-12.5 Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.
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