Students have been exploring images and in particular, the role images play in story books. Last week, Ms Jacky shared with students a very special book. Why special? Because this book had no text – just images! Students were forced to create their own meaning of the book using their prior knowledge and imagination. Students began to wonder why this book had no words and what its purpose was:
“Why was there no writing?”
“Why did we have to tell a story, that is the book’s job!”
“The writer (author) is Thai, but he wanted to make a Thai book for people who cannot read Thai.”
“Because it is for children.”
“People cannot listen because it is Thai.”
“A book without no pictures are for grown ups.”
Students soon began to realize that books can be published without text because the images are strong enough to convey a message. Students then requested to be their own authors and create a book without text. Students drew a string of images that would tell a story: beginning, middle and ending. Afterwards, students sat down with multiple partners to see if their partner, just from images, could tell what their story was about. If the image was not detailed enough, students were asked to go through the Austin’s Butterfly method to assist their partner to create a more powerful image. Students are currently working on their final draft of their book and they will be available for viewing in our classroom library!
What is Visual Literacy?
“The ability to decode, interpret, create, question, challenge and evaluate texts that communicate with visual images as well as, or rather than, words. Visually literate people can read the intended meaning in a visual text, interpret the purpose and intended meaning, and evaluate the form, structure and features of the text.”
Students need visual images to help the read and understand texts. Visual information can support reading and help make meaning of text.
Important of Visual Literacy:
- Children live in a very visual world
- Builds on children’s experiences
- Excellent for visual and kinesthetic learners
- Supports ELL children in understanding
- Very effective for developing writing
- Deepens children’s understanding of text
We live in a world where visual images are becoming increasingly important as most information is presented as a combination of words and images. It is essential that students not only have the capacity to derive literal meaning from texts but also to develop an understanding of how the texts are produced.