TwoSues Inspiring and practical training for school libraries Reading Pictures ExploringVisual Literacy Hertfordshire Schools Library Service Thursday 13th October 2011 Visual Literacy
Human beings first attempts at passing information on to future generations took the form of paintings. The oldest known cave painting is that of the Chauvet Cave, dating to around 30,000 BC From Cave Paintings
The world pupils inhabit has become increasingly visual
‘Young people learn more than half of what they know from visual information, but few schools have an explicit curriculum to show students how to think critically about visual data.’ Mary Alice White, researcher at Columbia Teachers’ College
So what do we mean by Visual Literacy ? glendabaker.net
Visual Literacy Visual literacy is the ability to interpret, negotiate, and make meaning from information presented in the form of an image. Visual literacy is based on the idea that pictures can be “read” and that meaning can be communicated through a process of reading. John Debes, co-founder of the International Visual Literacy Association, 1969 (Wikipedia 2010)
Words are used to recall things we have seen and experienced Different parts of the brain are used when we are exposed to words and pictures Combination of visuals and text increases comprehension
Children are increasingly dependent on visual images as a way of learning Many children find it easier to visualise images rather than read words TV, film, computer games are a bigger part of their lives than the written word As a result are more visually literate
So visual literacy has become more important Visual images are becoming a predominate form of communication Pupils need to be able to make critical judgements when looking at and using images There are no guide lines to help interpret images the meaning results from the context
“Our students must learn to process both words and pictures. To be visually literate they must learn to “read” (consume and interpret) images and write (produce and use) visually rich communications”Frey Nancy and Douglas Fisher
It is important that pupils learn to question images in the same way they question written text.
Developing critical thinking skills through images Pupils are able to interpret images on a literal level The higher order thinking skills of analyzing, synthesizing, and interpreting the image does not come naturally To do this the viewer must be helped to develop the necessary abstract thinking skills Goldstone 1989
Using the 5 Ws (&H) at all levels What happened ? Who were the people involved ? When did it happen ? Where did it happen ? Why did it happen ? How did it happen? Answers bring up more questions i.e. What were the motives ? What influenced those involved? What were the consequences of their decisions? Objective Questions – dates, places, names Subjective Questions- opinion – motives, influences
Using Pictures to Encourage Questioning Skills In groups – have a look at the picture and ask as many questions as you can about it What do you know ? What do you want to find out?
Now look at all your questions: 1. Which 3 questions are most interesting to you ? 2. If you were a newspaper reporter, which 3 questions do you think are the most important ? Why ? 3. How would you find out the answers to your questions?
Images can be manipulative The way the image is presented affects themessage the creator wishes to impart Light Juxtaposition of images Perspective Location Size of items Scale Frame Dimension Depth Background/Foreground Colour
Questions that need to be asked when studying images What message are the images trying to convey? Do you agree with the way the message is being depicted? Where has the information come from? What has been left out? What is the relationship between the image and the text? What effect does the size of the images have?
Interpreting the image Caption 1: On a hot summer day in 1947, these spectators watch the final moments of a tense baseball game. Some fans are yelling in disapproval at the umpire because they don’t like the decision.
Interpreting the image Caption 2: Entertainer Paul Robeson sings to labourers working at the racially integrated Moore Shipyards in Oakland, California on 21st September 1942.
Interpreting the image Caption 3: A mournful crowd gathers to watch the funeral procession of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior, drive past.
Interpreting the image Did it seem that all the captions could fit the image or did some make more sense than others ? Did hearing three captions about the same image make it more confusing to figure out what was really happening ? Why or why not ? Words can sway how we think about the picture. Captions help us “pin down” meaning. Captions and our own expectations influence what we see or read into an image. The right caption was: Entertainer Paul Robeson singing to labourers
How can visual images help literacy Stimulates creativity and inspires children to write their own stories Develops empathy Encourages children to explore texts further by making information or stories more accessible Develops social and cultural awareness Develops thinking and questioning skills
What are you like ? Helps get to know new pupils Helps pupils to analyse themselves Less threatening than “write about yourself” – children can be given the option Anthony Browne says “everyone can draw!” Great joint project with Art department What would you draw ?
Using film Children spend a lot of time watching TV and filmthis is not going to change so we need to tap into this resource Sequencing, predicting, recounting, supposition Music, light, sound and colour create mood The camera is the eye of the viewer, angles, close ups, long shots resting on details all in form the viewer and add atmosphere
Comics, Graphic Novels and Manga All use 'sequential art’ frames with speech bubbles Cinematic format reflects film and computer games Have visual ‘permanence’ unlike film, time moves at the pace of the reader Manga originated in Japan and subversively reads from right to left from back to front which appeals to pupils No longer seen as controversial a growing number are suitable for children (list of publishers and titles in pack)
One of the earlier graphic novels Will Eisner coined the phrase ‘graphic novel 'in 1978 to describe his collection of short stories ‘A contact with God’
Graphic Artists Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon produced a version of ‘9/11 Commission Report’ as a comic book Jacobson maintained ‘the graphic art format helps people particularly younger readers, to grasp what happened’
Marjane Satrapi’s Graphic Novel ‘Persepolis’ gave her the freedom to tell a wider audience her tale of revolution in Iran
Words and pictures help to make more difficult texts accessible
‘Self Made Hero’ has produced Manga versions of Shakespeare’s plays ‘It is a very visual medium. We thought that Manga would work well with Shakespeare because he wrote the stories to be played out on a stage rather than just read aloud. Manga brings that visual element into play’ Emma Hayley Self Made Hero
Evidence from one school librarian ‘I was chatting to one of our less able Y10 boys a few days ago, and he starting discussing a ‘Midsummer Nights Dream’ throwing in references to the characters, plot, etc. This surprised me (especially since he's not in a group which 'does‘ Shakespeare) , but turns out he got the info and interest - if not a love for Will from reading Gaiman's 'Sandman' comics.’ Adrian Thompson
Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood Written by Tony Lee Illustrated by Sam Hart
Now there are Graphic Novels to suit both boys and girls of all ages Glister Series by Andi Watson
Graphic Novels now have a valid place in the Library! Create interest in a variety of literary genre and range of topics Increased interest in reading Ability to discuss art and writing Understanding meaning in visual phenomena Increase literacy in all senses Increased understanding of popular culture Development of language skills and vocabulary
How to Exploit Your Collection Invite staff from local comic book shop to give a talk Have a session with an artist drawing Manga Compare a graphic version with original work of literature Organise a book talk around your collection Get pupils involved in selection of new titles, start a discussion on censorship Start a Graphic Novel book group Pupils produce their own comic book. There are free online websites - makebeliefscomix.com Invent your ownsuper hero reflects classical heroes from the past on - heromachine
Manga deals with almost every theme imaginable, not just sci-fi and fantasy.’ Manga is linked to the Japanese animation style known as ‘Anime’... drawn animation which will be familiar to pupils from film and TV Excellent introduction to Japanese culture
A picture book is one in which pictures play a significant role in the telling of the story Either a wordless story told only in pictures or one in which pictures and words work together An illustrated book is one in which the words provide the story which is only decorated by the illustrations
“What is the use of a book” thought Alice “without pictures” Printed word and pictures together are effective when telling stories and delivering information Use across the curriculum Use when introducing a new topic so add to book boxes Pictures can be read on lots of different levels so have something for all ages and abilities
http://www.epbcii.org/ Other languages and cultures
Geography Scan of George saves the world by lunchtime – children to write down everything they find and what they would do with it
Picture books are special. They are not like anything else. The best ones leave a tantalising gap between the pictures and the text— a gap that is filled by the reader’s imagination.’ “These are not books to be left behind as we grow older. I would like to encourage the act of looking.”
Paintings on the walls tell another part of the story Use of cinematic icons such as King Kong and Marilyn Monroe Ordinary objects morph into fantastic ones Jokes or surrealist elements in background always have a relevance to the story
Paintings on the walls tell another part of the story
Get paintings from Hertfordshire art collection Escher to complement Anthony Brown Use Picture This and also get pictures from Herts if possible
Skills Developed References to art, culture, and ideas enrich the story and make his books ideal for opening conversations Ask the question ‘What is surrealism?’ Talk about the symbolism There are many different ways to interpret the stories the pictures often telling a different story from the words thus developing the imagination A sophisticated level of humour, characterization and plot mean the books appeal to children and adults
Example of the Power of Words and Pictures ‘Blake's drawings have taken Rosen's personal text and made it universal, a template for grief and recovery’ Guardian
How Blake Interprets Rosen’s Sadness How do the pictures make you feel? Cartoonish pictures soften what is a very emotional subject Sadness is depicted in four drawings where the background gets greyer and greyer until suddenly it’s raining. Beneath a drawing of him smiling the statement 'This is me being sad’ Make comparison between the words and the pictures
The Heart in the Bottle Picture Link to app ad – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wc3fghSJvBM Alice app http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gew68Qj5kxw&NR=1
An Amusing Slant on Nature Frank and funny. Takes young children, skipping and whooping, out from under the gooseberry bush. Independent
There are sneaking, creeping, crumpling noises coming frominside the walls’ "This is a picture book for the twenty-first century child: visually and emotionally sophisticated, accessible, and inspired." --ALA Booklist “Gaiman has one creepy imagination, and his goose bump-inducing tale is given full visual throttle by McKean’sillustrations”Independent
Lucy’s fears are ignored by her family Use of photography, painting, drawing and collage It is atmospheric, sinister, scary and funny
Benefit of no words Pupils have to look for visual clues to create a meaningful story line This requires sophisticated thinking and develops imagination. Experience has to be read in the pictures so a need to engage and get involved emotionally
Shaun Tan The Arrival The homely and familiar The new and strange
Get pupils to write their interpretation of the story Use the illustrations to explore narrative structure Think about what happened before the story begins For PSHE start a discussion on poverty and wealth Speech bubble the narrative Tell the story from the point of view of different characters Make a play of the story Ideas for the Arrival
The Lost Thing Show video – won Oscar The Lost Thing trailer
Discuss what medium has been used - watercolour, pen and ink, collage etc... How has the artist created mood with colours and light How are the images placed on the page Read the story without showing pictures and get pupils to draw their ‘mind pictures’ How has illustration changed over the years? Research an illustrator Compare books across the age range More ideas at Book Trust ‘Big Picture’ and ‘House of Illustration Ideas for Using Picture Books
Kate Greenaway Award Short listed books form backbone of good collection of picture books and illustrated texts Website offers help in analysing picture books Local and national involvement In school voting creates interest in illustration In school competitions – bookmarks, posters http://www.carnegiegreenaway.org.uk/greenaway
Using Non-Fiction texts Use non fiction picture books with all ages to present new topics Printed word and pictures used together can be very effective at delivering information Helps pupils grasp the essence of more complex subjects by working from simpler examples Make use of factual comic books and manga Include in book boxes
Watson and the Shark by John Singleton Copley
4 slides to go in here from previous presentation
Watson and the Shark by John Singleton Copley
Ideas on using paintings Information on the Herts Art collection Information on Ashmolean Museum and National Gallery Take One Picture
Using images to stimulate imagination and curiosity “Picture This” gives excellent examples of what you can do Opportunity to use lots of books in your library which are not often used. Try setting quizzes round any non-fiction books with pictures Have a bit of fun!
Every picture tells a story! Each group has an illustration What is your story ? 10 mins Characters, feelings, actions ? Storytelling Create Your Story
Resources Booktrust House of Illustration The Big Picture Carnegie/Greenaway Shadowing Anthony Browne JISC resources – echalk, scran ?
Publishers and Useful Links www.scholastic.com/graphix http://titanbooks.com/home/uk- Titan Books http://www.selfmadehero.com/ - Self Made Hero http://www.classicalcomics.com/index.html - graphic novel adaptations of classic literature http://www.tokyopop.com/ - TokyoPop http://www.viz.com/ - Viz Media major publisher of manga in English who give age appropriate signs http://www.koyagi.com/Libguide.html- Resources for librarians http://www.ugo.com/channels/comics/heromachine2/heromachine2.asp - Hero machine - make your own superheros http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/Drawing - Makebeliefsscomix - Make your own comic http://www.comicsresearch.org/genres.html- Research on comics and graphic novels http://graphicnovelreporter.com/ - Graphic Novel Reporter http://www.comicbookresources.com/- News about comics and graphic novels http://www.noflyingnotights.com/ http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/literacy/findresources/graphicnovels/index.asp- creating your own graphic novels http://www.grovel.org.uk/
Bibliography Reading is Fundamental, Tips for Looking at Picture Books in the Classroomhttp://www.rif.org/parents/tips/tip.mspx?View=61 Shadowing Site – Carnegie/Greenaway Medals, - www.ckg.org.uk, Youngman, Angela, Inspiring Interest in Literature with Manga - www.teachingexpertise.com Mary Purdon, Lessons from Anthony Browne Julia Bartel, Graphic Novels for Kids, Tweens and Teens Madelyn Travis, Extending Storytelling Boundaries Librarian’s Guide to Manga http://www.koyagi.com/Libguide.html Paul Gravett, Manga Sixty Years of Japanese Comics Scott McCloud (1994) Understanding Comics Mel Gibson, Graphic Novels Across the Curriculum - http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/literacy/findresources/graphicnovels/section/intro.asp Google Images Learning Live – Visual Literacy http://www.learninglive.co.uk/teachers/primary/literacy/materials/visual_literacy/index.asp Image of cloud - - www.imdchennai.gov.in/local_wx_fcst.htm The Big Picture - www.bigpicture.org.uk Booktrust - www.booktrust.org.uk/Home House of Illustration – www.houseofillustration.org.uk
Bibliography The Big Picture ‘Looking at Books’ www.bigpicture.org.uk Bowkett, Steve ‘ Countdown to Non-Fiction Writing’, Routledge 2010 Buzan, Tony ‘Buzan’siMindmap’ 2010 Carel Press: Great Library Ideas, 2008 Copley, John Singleton: Watson and the Shark (1777-1778) Department for Children, Schools & Families, http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/, accessed 26/4/09 Frey Nancy and Douglas Fisher ‘Teaching Visual Literacy’Corwin Press 2008 Dodo image www.justmauritius.net Google Images Hopson, Ingrid, “Transition from Year 6 to Year 7” House of Illustration – www.houseofillustration.org.uk Mary Glasgow Magazines – ‘Bonjour’ (French) & ‘Schuss’ (German) National Gallery of Art (Washington) website - http://www.nga.gov/home.htm Picture This - http://museumca.org/picturethis/caption.html Reading is Fundamental – www.rif.org/ Scarfe, Gerald Heros and Villains Shadowing Site – Carnegie/Greenaway Medals, www.ckg.org.uk, accessed May 2010 Youngman,Angela “Inspiring interest in literature with Manga” www.teachingexpertise.com Wormworks - Helen Cooper’s speeches and articles www.wormworks.com