3 Ways to Explore Visual Literacy

3 Ways to Rock Vis Lit in 5M

1) Blogs

Students in 5th Grade are in the early stages of maintaining blogs. A discussion on visual literacy early on, will ensure they are using images and backgrounds effectively on their wordpress sites. As I begin to model visual literacy more appropriately, they will follow. Thanks to Richard Byne, via Jen Gilbert, for providing a list of places in which to find creative commons images.

2) Student Presentations

This is an example of a student presentation last year that shows little understanding of visual literacy. As I watched the students’ presentation, I moaned because I was staring at the back of their heads as they read off the screen. But, it wasn’t the fault of the students! It was mine! When we do this project this year, the requirements will change. Slides will include an appropriately sourced image and a maximum of 5 words on a slide. Students will be asked to create information dense handouts, which will be separate from the presentation.

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 6.25.50 AM

3) Vocabulary Practice and Instruction

Over the past few years, I have experimented with various ways to teach and review vocabulary. Reminded again of brain research that demonstrates the power of visual images, I am inspired to use images to enhance vocabulary instruction. Initially, I was burdening myself with creating all of the google presentations or prezis for each week’s vocabulary words.

Quite simply with just 14 students in my class and 20 vocabulary words per week, a collaborative google presentation will be the direction in which I next lead my class. With each student being responsible for 1-2 words, as a class we can easily create a google presentation with a vocabulary word, image, and example or non example. With the “research” tool on google presentations, students can be taught to search for images by usage rights.  Check out a previous post of mine, if you are interested in learning about the research images function.

It also strikes me that this might be the perfect opportunity for me to slowly introduce a discussion of visual literacy, as we can analyze students’ slides to discuss which ones are more effective.Screen Shot 2013-09-20 at 9.45.14 AM

Screenshot with Image


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