What is Visual Literacy?
As a classroom teacher, I realize the importance of focusing on the parallels between art and the writing process. Often we hear children ask,” Can I draw my story?” or say,” The story in my picture is.” “Children naturally integrate their learning and curriculum through moving back and forth between words and pictures” (Ernst, 1992). Typically, as children over time learn to read and write, picture making is pushed to the sides or delegated to the art room. However, children have a continuing need for experiences with both words and pictures as they venture through their own journey in literacy. The Art of Visual Writing recognizes all of this.
Children tend to write with very little detail when they have no pre-writing activity to stimulate their descriptive writing process. These children need different ideas and techniques to help enhance their descriptive writing. They need to experience the wonder of artistic expression and creation. Since writing was an area of difficulty revealed during my classroom teaching experiences, I have explored various visualization techniques and use of graphic organizers that allow this personal pre-writing experience to be successfully crafted in each child’s written piece. The Art of Visual Writing celebrates all of this.
According to the Common Core, children must be able to use text types with purpose, understand production and research to build and present knowledge. But, how do we do this? What exactly is good writing? How do we write, speak and present effectively? How can we successfully attain goals and benchmarks? How do visualization and common core graphic organizers and planners improve writing performance for all learning styles? The Art of Visual Writing addresses all of this.
Several writing experts validate that the integration of art and visual imagery into the curriculum will help enhance student’s reasoning and problem-solving abilities, as well as assist them in adopting creative and social outlets for self expression. Additionally, children will feel successful and motivated to create and use visual imagery while entering the writing process without fear of failure. The Art of Visual Writing fosters all of this.
Visual Writing not only helps children connect with written and oral texts, it connects them to new ideas and experiences. All learning styles will benefit from this fresh hands-on approach to written expression. The quick visual techniques throughout this writing process will easily enhance narrative, expository, descriptive paragraphs and poetry. Visual writing will provide various pre-writing lessons to create an interactive atmosphere where writing topics that used to be unimaginative become more descriptive and exciting to read. Even the most reluctant writers and readers will quickly pick up their pencil and scratch the surface of their paper with their imaginative language.
Why Visual Writing? It is a springboard to ‘generate joy’ in learning and writing, develop critical thinking and help students communicate their feelings and imaginations. The Art of Visual Writing results have shown visualization techniques have improved writing scores and students are eager to publish and present their writing with enthusiasm and passion. Therefore, it is time to accept visual imagery as a valid pre-writing step in our writing process. It’s time to embrace The Art of Visual Writing because it's more than the Common Core!