A pictogram is a symbol representing a concept, object, activity, place or event by illustration. The US National Park Service uses pictograms extensively, as do sign and map makers. Icons are types of pictograms. Each of the recent Olympics developed pictograms or icons to represent the major sports. The girls and I looked closely at the icons designed for the Beijing Summer Olympics, images designed to represent each sport. We talked about how pictures can tell us things without words, improve communication among people who do not speak the same language, convey a message quickly and help organize information.
My daughters drew some pictograms. The girls worked up several designs and iterations before finalizing these tiny drawings, just 1.5" squares, to effectively get across a simple message without words. Starting at top left: house, Wall-E, dog area, cleaning, flower shop, singing, sewing, box.