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Visual Literacy K-6

Definition of visual literacy and terms with examples.
by

Vanessa Mozayani

on 17 April 2011

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Transcript of Visual Literacy K-6

Visual Literacy by Vanessa Mozayani Visual literacy is the ability to decode, interpret, create, question, challenge and evaluate texts that communicate with visual images as well as, or rather than words. Participants "Participants in images may represent beings of some kind like humans, animals and mythical creatures. They may also represent artifical objects like buildings, furniture, cars and roads or natural phenomena like rivers, mountains and trees." Unsworth (2001:73) Actors and Goals The actor in a picture is a participant that is doing something (acting). The goal is the thing it is doing it to. Demand and Offer A demand is any image where the participant is looking straight at you. They are demanding your attention. The reader has to necessarily engage with the participant through the power of eye contact. An offer is any image where the participant is not looking at you, or is not able to look at you. The particpant asks nothing of the reader, they only offer themselves. Images can be a combination of both, depending on what each of the participants are doing Modality How real - looking is the image? Modality means similar to 'realistic'. Some images are very realistic (eg. photos) and have high modality, whereas some images are not very realistic (eg. cartoons) and have low modality.

When you want to judge an image's modality, compare it to a "high quality photograph. People judge an image to be "naturaistic" if it approximates this level of representation" Unsworth (2001:99)
Aspects that affect modality are colour, light and contextualisation. In the case of contextualisation that just means that an image is more real if it has a setting. Salience This is what draws your attention the most. Where do you look first?
Where is your eye drawn? Elements may be salient due to their:
size
light/brightness
colour
sharpness/contrast
centrality Social distance There are three main distances that can be seen in images.
Close up
Medium
Long distance As in life, physical distance we keep from others indicates our level of intimacy with them. Power angles This is basically the point of view.
Are you looking at the participant straight on?
Are you standing above them?
Are you sitting below them? They have a purpose and that is to put the reader/viewer in their place. High Angle - You are looking at the participant. You have the power, the participant is weaker.
Low Angle - You are looking up at the participant. The participant has been placed in a position of power and reverance.
Eye level - You and the participant share equal power. Maximum chance for relationship. Attitude This is about your viewing planes. If you are looking at the picture from directly in front, then you have maximum chance for involvement with that participant. If the picture is from another angle and you are not looking at the participant front on, then you are slightly detached from the participants and your relationship is not as close. These angles are called 'obliques'. "The oblique angle indicates detachment.
Unsworth (2001:98) Framing "Elements or groups of elements within a layout may be disconnected and marked off from each other or connected, joined together. This is known as framing."
Unsworth (2001:109) Framing is basically whether there is a 'picture frame' around a picture. Frames can look like many things and are not always rectangluar.
Strongly framed - images are completely separated from each other
Weakly framed where some elements overlap or leak into other frames Low modality and no context.
Counting on Frank by Rod Clement The actor is Mr Piggott. The goal is the plate.
Piggybook by Anthony Browne The participants include the animals and the coconut.
The Three Questions by Jon J Muth Visual Literacy plays a key role in many modes of communication so it is important to teach students visual grammar or language - the metalanguage of visuals. We will examine these key terms:
participants
actors and goals
modality
demand and offer
social distance
salience
attitude
power angles
framing
given and new
reading path
vectors
symbolism
transactional/ bi directional/ non -transactional
reactional Given and New Vectors Reading Path Symbolism Transactional Bi -directional Non - Transactional Reactional A nice walk through the jungle by Nan Bodsworth Drac and the Gremlin by Alan Baillie Changes by Anthony Browne Dougal the garbage dump bear by Matt Dray. The dark at the top of the stairs by Sam McBratney The Lost Thing by Shaun Tan The Cassowary's egg by Gary Fleming Willy and Hugh by Anthony Browne Counting on Frank by Rod Clement Weslandia by Paul Fleischman Close up - these are usually head shots. The author wants us to feel close and engage with this participant. Who's afraid of the big bad wolf? by Lauren Childs Medium shot - we see them from the waist up. Not such a close relationship, but certainly closer than a stranger Into the forest by Anthony Browne Long distance - we see their whole body. Limited relationship potential. Willy the wizard by Anthony Browne Children read left to right. Images generally are read left to right as well.

In most cases the given is on the left and the 'new' is on the right.

Examine Counting on Frank by Rod Clement.
Examine Little Beauty by Anthony Browne.
Vectors are sometimes called 'action lines'.
They serve many purposes
to indicate movement
to draw attention to particular parts of the image
to show interaction between the participants Into the forest by Anthony Browne Examine Who's afraid of the big bad wolf by Lauren Childs
Examine A Nice walk in the Jungle by Nan Bodsworth The path along which our eyes follow over the whole image is the reading path. It usually start at the most salient point of the image. Symbolism can includes so many different things that its hard to come up with a concise definition. Unsworth states that a symbol is any "attribute (that) symbolises a further implicit meaning" (2001:92)

Basically a symbol is any participant that has a deeper meaning than what is on the obvious surface. It adds mean to for the audience. Into the forest by Anthony Browne If the image is transactional, that means that both an actor and a goal are involved. If the actor and the goal are doing something to each other indicated by vectors then the image is bi - directional because two directions are involved. Voices in the park by Anthony Browne Sometimes the actor might be doing something to or with a goal, but the goal is not represented. These types of images are called non transactional because there is no transaction between the actor or the goal. In some images, the participants are looking at something but not necessarily doing much action. In these images, the main participant is no longer called the Actor, but a Reactor. Examine The Spider and the Fly by Tony Diterlizzi Primary Reference: Teaching Multiliteracies across the curriculum Unsworth, L (2001) Open Univerity Press
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