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Visual Literacy Techniques
Transcript of Visual Literacy Techniques
Value for enhancing learning
Visual Literacy Techniques
What is visual literacy?
Implementation in Kindergarten
Bristor & Drake (1994, as cited in Baker 2002) define visual literacy as the "ability to understand, interpret and evaluate visual messages.
Dave Gray, founder of visual thinking company XPLANE, states that visual literacy is "the ability to both read and write visual information; the ability to learn visually; to think and solve problems in the visual domain." (As cited in Baker 2002)
The NSW syllabuses for the Australian Curriculum English glossary defines visual literacy as "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 such as an advertisement or a film shot, interpret the purpose and intended meaning, and evaluate the form, structure and features of the text. They can also use images in a creative and appropriate way to express meaning.
Visual literacy supports comprehension by:
~ Building interest and engaging students
~ Includes all students
~ Activates students prior knowledge
~ Teaches viewing and comprehension skills
~ Develops students close viewing and reading skills
Visual literacy enhances students problem solving and critical thinking skills. It enables students to make connections and comparisons, for example links to feelings/emotions, locations, memories and experiences.
Visual literacy enables teachers to incorporate the use of ICT's within the classroom to enhance students learning. ICT's enable students to both view and create visual images and messages.
There are a variety of considerations to be made regarding visual literacy techniques within the early years.
~ Visual literacy should not replace reading and writing, but be used in conjunction with these skills to develop students' literacy as a whole.
~ Appropriateness: in kindergarten students will have basic visual literacy skills that involve making connection to their lives. From Prep-3 students will begin to make meaning from visual images, including videos, pictures and graphs.
~Connections: Relate to real life experiences. Within the early years students are making connections to their lives.
~ Stimulating and engaging: students will be more interested if the materials are significant or arouse their curiosity.
~Classroom diversity and student needs: Remember that students come from varying cultures and backgrounds and they may also be at varying developmental stages.
At this level students are making conections to thier life experiences. For this reason it is important to use materials that are level appropriate and that will enable students to make relevant connections.
Visual literacy can be incorporated into childrens role play. For example, when playing cars/traffic games students can use road signs that they know, i.e. stop. Students also use visual literacy to infer what a costume is "I am a policeman as I have a badge and handcuffs"
In the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia outcome Five: Children are effective communicators requires that:
~ Children engage with a range of texts and gain meaning from these texts: this is evident when students "view and listen to printed, visual and multimedia texts and respond with relevant gestures, actions, comments and/or questions"
~ Children express ideas and make meaning using a range of media: this is evident when students "use language and engage in play to imagine and create roles, scripts and ideas, they share the stories and symbols of their own culture and re-enact well-known stories
• use the creative arts such as drawing, painting, sculpture, drama, dance, movement, music and storytelling to express ideas and make meaning and experiment with ways of expressing ideas and meaning using a range of media"
~ Children begin to understand how symbols and pattern systems work: this is evident when "use symbols in play to represent and make meaning, they develop an understanding that symbols are a powerful means of communication and that ideas, thoughts and concepts can be represented through them, students begin to be aware of the relationships between oral, written and visual representations, and students draw on their experiences in constructing meaning using symbols"
~ Children use information and communication technologies to access information, investigate ideas and represent their thinking: This is evident when students "use information and communication technologies to access images and information, explore diverse perspectives and make sense of their world and use information and communication technologies as tools for designing, drawing, editing, reflecting and composing"
The Australian Curriculum enables a range of opportunities to implement visual literacy across the curriculum. English, Mathematics, Arts, History, Geography and Science are all opportunities to incorporate visual literacy within the classroom. This can be done through the use of maps, graphs, photos, drawing illustrations and using ICT's to create visual texts.
CoreStand Consultant Series: Visual Literacy with Laura Beltchenko a 4 minute clip on teaching visual literacy within the classroom
~ What do you see?
~ What do you know?
~ What words, phrases or sentences describe the image?
~ Being to uncover a story: What is happening?
~Make connections to what students know
By breaking pictures into quadrants students are able to gather more detail by looking at each section separately.
Note: Questions will depend on how appropriate they are to the students level. Differentiate to students' needs.
~ Retell familiar literary texts through performance, use of illustrations and images (ACELT1580)
~ Identify some familiar texts and the contexts in which they are used (ACELY1645)
~ Use comprehension strategies to understand and discuss texts listened to, viewed or read independently (ACELY1650)
~ Construct texts using software including word processing programs (ACELY1654)
~ The representation of the location of places and their features on maps and a globe (ACHGK001)
~ Recreate texts imaginatively using drawing, writing, performance and digital forms of communication (ACELT1586)
~ Use comprehension strategies to build literal and inferred meaning about key events, ideas and information in texts that they listen to, view and read by drawing on growing knowledge of context, text structures and language features (ACELY1660)
~ Construct texts that incorporate supporting images using software including word processing programs (ACELY1664)
~ Represent data with objects and drawings where one object or drawing represents one data value. Describe the displays (ACMSP263)
~ Represent and communicate observations and ideas in a variety of ways such as oral and written language, drawing and role play (ACSIS029)
~ Sequence familiar objects and events (ACHHS031)
~ Create events and characters using different media that develop key events and characters from literary texts (ACELT1593)
~ Create short imaginative, informative and persuasive texts using growing knowledge of text structures and language features for familiar and some less familiar audiences, selecting print and multimodal elements appropriate to the audience and purpose (ACELY1671)
~ Create displays of data using lists, table and picture graphs and interpret them (ACMSP050)
~ Use a range of methods to sort information, including drawings and provided tables (ACSIS040)
~ Represent and communicate observations and ideas in a variety of ways such as oral and written language, drawing and role play (ACSIS042)
~ Represent data and the location of places and their features by constructing tables, plans and labelled maps (ACHGS015)
~ Distinguish between the past, present and future
~ Create imaginative texts based on characters, settings and events from students’ own and other cultures using visual features, for example perspective, distance and angle (ACELT1601)
~ Use software including word processing programs with growing speed and efficiency to construct and edit texts featuring visual, print and audio elements (ACELY1685)
~ Collect data, organise into categories and create displays using lists, tables, picture graphs and simple column graphs, with and without the use of digital technologies (ACMSP069)
~ Safely use appropriate materials, tools or equipment to make and record observations, using formal measurements and digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS055)
~ The main climate types of the world and the similarities and differences between the climates of different places (ACHGK017)
~ Present findings in a range of communication forms, for example, written, oral, digital, graphic, tabular, and visual, and use geographical terminology (ACHGS024)
~ Identify sources (ACHHS215)
~ Locate relevant information from sources provided (ACHHS068)
~Use a range of communication forms (oral, graphic, written) and digital technologies (ACHHS071)
Disney Pixar short film "For the Birds". Could be implemented in the classroom to encourage students to think about friendships and exclusion.
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2014). Foundation Year. Retrieved from: http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/FoundationYear
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2014). Year One. Retrieved from: http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/Year1
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2014). Year Two. Retrieved from: http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/Year2
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2014). Year Three. Retrieved from: http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/Year3
Australian Government Department of Education. (2009). Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia. Retrieved from: http://
Baker, F. (2012). Visual Literacy. Retrieved from: http://www.aperture.org/wp- content/uploads/2013/05/part1.pdf
Barratt-Pugh, C., Rivalland, J., Hammer, J. & Adam, P. (2006). Literacy Learning in Australia:Practical ideas for early childhood educators. Victoria, Australia: Thomson
CoreStand (2012, May 24). CoreStand Consultant Series: Visual Literacy. Retrieved March 30, 2014, from
Flemington, K., Hewins, L. & Villiers, U. (2001). Journey t Literacy: no worksheets required. Ontario, Canada: Pembrooke Publishers.
Makin, L. & Diaz, C. (2002). Literacies in Early Childhood: Changing views, Challenging practices. New South Wales, Australia: Elsevier Australia.
Multi Fusion (2012, November 2). For the Birds | Original Movie from Pixar. Retrieved April 4, 2014, from
New South Wales Board of Studies. (2014). NSW SYLLABUSES for the Australian curriculum: Glossary. Retrieved from: http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/english/english-k10/glossary/
Pilonieta, P., Wood, K. & Taylor, D. (2010). Promoting literacy through visual aids. In B. Moss & D. Lapp (Eds.), Teaching new literacies in grades K-3 (pp.198-208). New York,
United States of America: The Guilford Press.
Queensland Studies Authority. (2010). Queensland kindergarten learning guideline. Retrieved from: http://www.qsa.qld.edu.au/downloads/p_10/qklg.pdf