With expanding use of social and digital media outlets, programs, and options, we need to better understand how the composition and designs of our posts, emails, websites, and means of communication are used and integrated by our audience as they construct and interpret our messages. This is what visual literacy is all about.
I've already pointed out how Color Casts Powerful Messages and how vital The Power of Words is. I've also previously detailed how to teach and play with visual literacy skills Visual Literacy Fun and Games Boosting Critical Thinking and Attention.
In this post, I want to address the impact FONTS have on our perception, integration, and interpretation of messages.
Until recently, comics were confiscated, banned and frowned upon in schools. With advances in computer technology and graphics, a surge of outstanding works, and from a push from librarians and teachers, they are now being integrated in school and home libraries and classrooms.
Below is a closer look at the course comics and graphic novels have taken in and out of the classrooms But, before we look at the course of comics, here are some resources explaining why graphic novels fit in most classrooms, along with suggested reading lists and teaching suggestions:
If you’re a visual learner like myself, then you know maps, charts and info graphics can really help bring data and information to life. Maps can make a point resonate with readers and this collection...
Reflecting on 2013, I thought I'd share my favorite non-fiction and historical fiction kids' grapic novels with you, hoping you'll find ways of incorporating them in your homes, libraries, and classrooms. For those of you interested in a wider reading list, I have also included links by other librarians, educators, and graphic novel aficionados who have listed their 2013 favorites as well. I've included a few outstanding "honorable mentions" in fiction (I just couldn't resist sharing them with you).
Inspired by an outstanding production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Nights Dream this past weekend (University of Chicago's Dean's Men Production), I thought I'd take post an interesting collection of facts, quotes and infographics related to Shakespeare and his works.
In this post, we take a closer look at King by Ho Che Anderson (Fantagraphics, 1993; reprint edition 2010). This highly acclaimed award-winning biography integrates interviews, narrative, sketches, illustrations, photographs and collages as it pieces together an honest look at the life, times, tragedies, and triumphs of Martin Luther King Jr. For King, Anderson won the Harvey Awards for Best New Talent (1991); Best Graphic Album (1993); and Parents’ Choice Award (1995).
King was originally published in three volumes (1993-2002), went out of print in 2006, and was republished in a special edition in 2010. While very briefly introducing his father’s influence upon him, King focuses most of its attention on King’s adult path and his role in the civil rights movement... Aside from King’s own personal life, we also learn of his relationship with his colleagues and communities and with politicians such as the Kennedys and Lyndon B. Johnson. We learn not only about what he did, but how he navigated through politics and social change.
Please visit this post at cbldf.org for more details on the book, for lesson and discussion suggestions, and for awesome additional resources on King and the Civil Rights Movement.
In this post, we take a closer look at March: Book One by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (Top Shelf, 2013). We highlight it here as it sensitively documents Americans’ struggle for equal rights and civil liberties, and because this award-winning graphic novel is an excellent book to read, learn, and discuss for Black History Month.
March: Book One begins the trilogy of Representative John Lewis’s graphic novel memoire, co-written with his aide Andrew Aydin and illustrated by Nate Powell. It is a critically acclaimed best-seller that received the 2013 Coretta Scott King Honor Book Award by the American Library Association and has been named one of the best books of 2013 by USA Today, The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, The Horn Book, ComicsAlliance, and others."
Wikibrains is a tool for exploring visually how words, names, ideas and concepts are connected. This online tool is giving us access to a collective brain based on a growing database of semantically linked information and knowledge.
First, let's take a look at writing. It is probably one of the most challenging skills our kids have to face because it involves simultaneously coordinating a number of skill sets.
When we write, we have to constantly monitor WHAT we are writing, consider the ORDER in we're writing it (making sure it makes sense to others), weighing what WORDS BEST express our thoughts, while making sure we're , entering and/or printing the correct letters using correct spelling and grammar. More specifically, writing's challenging is the simultaneous coordination and feedback between:
higher order cognitive systems - brainstorming, synthesizing and/or creating content ideas;sequencing systems - organizing what to say in a way that makes most sense to most readers;memory - remembering what they are supposed to be writing about while remembering the words we want to use, along with proper tense, spelling and grammar WHILE keeping track of the order in which we want to relay it;attention - continuous monitoring making sure we are staying on topic; making sure we're making sense; making sure we're using correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation;graphomotor coordination -coordinating muscle memory while entering the correct letters/words; andlanguage - recalling vocabulary and rules of grammar and syntax.
Bridging traditional language-arts education and 21st-century technology with Common Core Standards, Meryl Jaffe, PhD demonstrates: (1) how non-fiction graphic novels can be paired with classic and prose texts and media links to meet learning and curricular demands, promoting visual and verbal literacies; and (2) how these types of lessons not only meet CCSS, but help address different student learning styles and learning skills.
Hitting a Home Run: Integrating Non-Fiction Graphic Novels in Your Lessons to Meet Divergent Student Needs and CCSS.” You can view it here: https://vimeo.com/81551403
If you have questions after viewing the webinar, please feel free to contact Dr. Meryl Jaffe via email at email@example.com. Dr. Jaffe posts teaching suggestions weekly on her website Departing the Text welcoming reader comments and questions (http://departingthetext.blogspot.com). Finally, for those wanting more great ways to incorporate graphic novels in classrooms and with or without prose text and/or media pairings, please see her monthly columns for The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, "Using Graphic Novels in Education" and download her web version of "Raising a Reader!" as well.