Reading Newspapers and Keeping a Collage Journal: Increasing Vocabulary through Transmediation
Reading Newspapers & Keeping a Collage Journal: Increasing Vocabulary through Transmediation Mary Ann Reilly
Learning Vocabulary is ImportantBecause… High-knowledge third graders had vocabularies about equal to lowest- performing twelfth graders (Smith, 1981). Linguistically “poor” first graders knew 5,000 words; linguistically “rich” knew 20,000 words (Moats, 2001). Once established, such differences are difficult to ameliorate (Biemiller, 1999; Hart & Risley, 1995).
Decontextualized Language is at theCore of Literacy Instruction Decontextualized language: Word Meanings Minimizes contextual cues & shared assumptions by explicitly encoding referents for pronouns, actions, and locations Also called literate or academiclanguage because it allows literate people to discuss literary products Text
So many words, so little time One estimate found that “Printed School English” contains roughly 88,000 different words. The average child, by the end of high school, may know about half or 45,000 different words. If a child enters 1st grade knowing about 6,000 words, then they must learn about 3,000 new words per year.
Facts about Vocabulary One study found that, in fact, children did learn between 1,000 and 5,000 new words per year, or about 3,000 on the average. Even lower estimates suggest that children learn at least one new word per day, every day.
Where do these words comefrom? Informal estimates suggest that active teaching can cover 6-10 words per week, or about 400 per year. We also estimate the average child can learn nearly 3000 words through ordinary reading of moderately challenging text (text with 95% of words known).
Vocabulary Knowledge is aConsequence of reading Children learn most words from wide reading. Newspapers are an excellent source of rare words.
Finding Those Rare Words Even though it is important to talk to learners, more of the “rare” words are found in print rather than oral language.What would you guess? Adult talking to child: __ rare words for 1,000 TV: __ rare words for 1,000 Children‟s book: ___ rare words for 1,000 Adult books: __ rare words for 1,000 Comic books: __ rare words for 1,000 (Hayes and Athens 1988)
Text Complexity of International NewspapersWHITE PAPER Text Complexity of English International Newspapers in a World Preparing for College and CareerCarl W. Swartz, Sean T. Hanlon, A. Jackson Stenner, Hal Burdick and Donald S. Burdick,Learning Science and Technology, MetaMetrics
Guiding ?s: Creating a ReadingHabit How might creating a daily or weekly collage based on the reading from a single days newspaper influence and complicate how one reads a newspaper? How might this practice over time deepen learners‟ knowledge about current events and increase vocabulary? What might happen if creating a daily or weekly collage was a standing choice assignment that was privileged work in social studies or humanities courses?
Transmediation The process of taking understandings from one sign system and moving them into another in order to make meaning or representing meaning across sign systems. From Semali, L.M. (ed). 2002. Transmediation in the classroom: A semiotics-based media literacy framework. NY: Peter Lang .
Transmediation Using multiple symbol systems to make and express meaning deepens and complicates learning because the meaning understood via one system often is not replicated in the same way in another symbol system. This dissonance creates a need to „reread‟ the original text and interpret.
What is a Collage Journal? Peter Jacobs, collage artist, has been creating a daily collage culled from images and text from that days newspaper for seven years. He creates these Collage by Peter Jacobs collages (9” x 12”) in a mix media journal.
Complicating Reading Jacobs writes: The Collage Journal is now in its seventh year. I produce a collage solely from the images and texts of that day‟s newspaper…As consistent as the newspaper is printed, each day I sit down and construct/reconstruct my visual response and internal feelings in that morning‟s collage. Like a written journal, a visual journal incorporates both personal and external experience. The Collage Journal extends the external experience to the world, having the palette of the newspaper‟s dissection of stories and images. The newspapers also bring the world of advertising, which is somewhat surreal in their placement to their neighboring articles. I believe this juxtaposition creates a de-sensitizing and detachment in the reader/viewer to the gravity of the news.
Materials Needed for CollageJournal The materials needed are fairly minimal and although I would certainly recommend a lesson on how to use an X-acto knife--the rest is rather minimal.1. High quality newspaper2. Canson Mix Media journal (9" x 12" , 98 lb paper).3. X-acto pen (finest size)4. cutting mat5. UHU clear glue stick (acid free)6. Optional: gesso, watercolor, colored pencils, stain (teabag, etc.), ink, and a camera to capture the image.
Method for Collage Journal I found it helpful to read the same newspaper consecutively. I selected the New York Times. Before creating the collage I took time to scan the newspaper (first section completely and then one of the other sections). I then read different articles and looked at images and advertisements, noticing how central ideas emerged as I moved from page to page. While reading I marked images I wanted to return to. I looked at other collages to gather ideas about design. Sometimes I thought about the ideas that had emerged while reading and composed based on the idea(s). Other times I began collecting images, blocks of color and the ideas emerged as I played with the images. I lay out the collage before gluing.
My response to reading the New York Times on 2.18.12
My response to reading the New York Times on 2.17.12
Reflection After learners have read and created a few collages based on daily reading of a newspaper, ask them to compose a written or vocal reflection about the process and what they are learning. See next slide for some guiding questions (if needed).
Reflection: Guiding Questions1. How did meaning change as you read across articles, images, and advertisements in a single issue? How did it change as you made the collage?2. What patterns related to meaning did you notice and/or represent in your collage(s)?3. Did meaning emerge across collages? If so, why do you think that happened?4. How did creating a visual representation influence the ways you