Teaching students to read visual texts is just as important as teaching them how to read print texts. Content areas are filled with visuals—maps, graphs, photographs, artwork, tables, etc. Teachers are responsible to support students in learning how to approach the visual texts which are essential to the disciplines they teach.
To earn this microcredential you will submit two evidence items from the menu showing that you incorporate visual literacy in your instruction. Once your evidence is submitted, respond to the reflection prompts.
You will be charged $25 by the badge provider. You'll be charged at the point you submit your badge for final review.
Visual literacy isn't just a description of the obvious noticed in an image. It isn't merely venturing a personal opinion about the image without evidential support. It is not journal writing about feelings inspired by an image, or simply talking to a neighbor about an image.
Visual Literacy: Visual literacy is the ability to observe, interpret, and make meaning from information presented in the form of an image. It is based on the idea that pictures can be "read," and that meaning can be determined and curriculum can be enhanced through a process of that reading.
Observe and Identify Information: Teachers should instruct students to conduct an overview of the visual, identifying the image and studying key components, details, and text. Possible questions for teachers to use with students include:
• What type of image is this?
• Describe how the visual presents information.
• What do you notice?
• What do you see that makes you say that?
• Look again. What more can you find?
• What are you wondering about?
• What techniques are used to create the image?
• How is the image composed?
Interpret the Information: Teachers will instruct students to think critically about the image. Teachers may have students interpret individually, in small groups, or in classroom discussions. Possible questions for teachers to use with students include:
• How does the text relate to the picture?
• What is the purpose of this image?
• What evidence can be cited to support the interpretation?
• What parts do you not understand yet?
• How do the different parts connect to each other and your understanding of the image as a whole?
Draw Conclusions: Teachers will instruct students to process the clues and information presented and to draw upon their own knowledge and experience to understand and/or make a judgement. Possible questions for teachers to use with students include:
• What inferences can you make from this image?
• What meaning does this image communicate?
• What are the implications of this information?
• Why does this matter?
Mr. Prime is a 3rd grade teacher at Integer Elementary. Mr. Prime's students have been learning to rename fractions. He projects an image for his students, whom he has placed in groups of four. The image shows two circles: one circle is divided into three equal parts, with one of the parts highlighted; the other circle is divided into 18 equal parts, with six parts highlighted. Both circles represent 1/3.
Mr. Prime asks his students:
• What do you notice?
• What do you see that makes you say that? After they discuss, he asks them to discuss what else they can find.
• How is the first circle like the second circle? How is the first circle different from the second circle?
• What do you notice about the red section and the blue section? Mr. Prime says that one student looked at the sections and said they were equal, but another student said they weren't equal because they have a different number of sections. What do you think?
After the students have had time to discuss in their groups, Mr. Prime gives each group a circle divided into six equal parts, and then instructs them to color yellow the number of pieces to make the colored section equal to the red and blue sections in the other two circles.
Video: Submit a brief (5-8 minute) video of your instruction with students in a skill needed to "read" visual images in your jusbject area. Video submissions should follow all relevant LEA (district/charter) and FERPA guidelines.
Student Work: Submit 2-4 samples of your students' work. These samples should demonstrate student understanding of a visual image to learn central concepts in the standards. Possible examples of student work include written work, notes, an image, an interpretation, etc. This student work should demonstrate your effective and consistent instruction of visual literacy as a part of teaching your subject standards.
Lesson Plan: Submit a lesson plan of your creation that includes visual literacy instruction as a part of teaching a central concept or skill. The lesson plan should include the image provided to students and the questions the teacher plans to use to support student thinking. This lesson plan should demonstrate your effective and consistent instruction of visual literacy as a part of teaching your subject standards.
Unit Plan: Submit a unit plan of your creation that includes visual literacy instruction as a part of teaching central concepts or skills. The unit plan should include the images provided to students and the questions the teacher plans to use to support student thinking. This unit plan should demonstrate your effective and consistent instruction of visual literacy as a part of teaching your subject standards.
Candidate's Choice: Submit some other form of evidence to demonstrate your effective and consistent instruction in the skills required to interpret visual images in your subject area.
Candidates are required to make 2 evidence submission(s).
Visual Literacy: Evidence Criterion 1: Evidence demonstrates that the teacher uses best practices to teach students the skills required to observe and identify components within visual images relevant to content area.
Criterion 2: Evidence demonstrates that students learn to effectively interpret a visual image.
Criterion 3: Evidence demonstrates that students learn to effectively draw conclusions about a visual image.
Describe how you use images as an instructional tool to help students learn content standards.
Identify the skills students need to "read" visual images in your content area. Explain how student analysis of the image enhances their understanding of course curriculum.
Give specific examples of visual literacy opportunities students experience in your classroom and how it helps them learn.
Visual Literacy: Reflection Criterion 1: Reflection demonstrates that the teacher understands the skills required for students to "read" visuals relevant to the content area.
Criterion 2: Reflection demonstrates how the teacher uses visual literacy to help students learn content.
"Reading Visual Images." WarnerJordanEducation. (2013). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEw3s7QnolA This is a great 15-minute podcast, outlining what visual literacy is, and why teaching it is important. It goes on to outline step by step how to read visuals.
"Reading Visual Text." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvEnZ-lMSDo This eight-minute PowerPoint video walks through a lesson using visual text, giving examples of questions and ideas for students, such as colors, shapes, positions, and light.
Picturing Texts. Faigley, L.; George, D.; Palchik, A.; and Selfe, C. (2004). New York: Norton & Co. Find it on Amazon.com This book tackles the tasks of both analyzing and composing visuals in a way applicable to classrooms. It combines 40 readings and more than 200 images with instruction on how to think rhetorically about both words and images.
ReadWriteThink http://www.readwritethink.org/ This website is a searchable database of literacy strategies for any educator at any grade level. ReadWriteThink is a collaboration between the International Literacy Association (ILA) and National Council of Teachers of English/Language Arts (NCTE/LA).
Website, Utah Museum of Fine Arts, University of Utah https://umfa.utah.edu/lessons This is a website containing lesson plans, which include images of art. A teacher could use the image without using the lesson plan, but could also gain insight into "reading" visual images from the lesson plans provided.