One of the best ways to start the Spring season is to be here at the CTA Good Teaching Conference, South. I am up bright and early, and hoping teachers come to the bonus session at 8:00AM! My session is titled: Close Reading Using Cultural Arts. The session focus is building visual literacy and learning ways to incorporate the cultural arts in all content areas. In my session we will examine how works of art “provide evidence” to strengthen literacy, observational and interpretive skills and engage students in interdisciplinary thinking about the world around them.
You can access today’s slides by clicking HERE.
What is Visual Literacy?
Visual literacy is a staple of 21st century skills, which state that learners must demonstrate the ability to interpret, recognize, appreciate and understand information presented through visible actions, objects and symbols, natural or man-made.
Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) method:
1. The teacher selects an interesting picture or painting, one that relates to the topic of the story to be read, in this case the picture above.
2. A copy of this picture is placed on the overhead projector. There are many sources of pictures on the Internet, including museum and library websites.
3. The students are asked, "Please look at the picture silently for a minute and think about what you see. What's going on in the picture?"
4. After a minute the teacher opens up the question to the room, "What do you see in the picture?" The students' responses often start out with the obvious — "There's a man walking a dog and another man riding a bike. The picture looks old. I think it was taken in a city."
5. When a student offers a qualitative statement, the teacher asks for more information. "You said the picture looks old. What makes you say that?" The students justify their answers by providing evidence from the picture. They may say, "It's in black and white, and the cars in the back all look like they were made a long time ago."
6. Next the teacher asks students to share differing opinions and provide justification. One student may say, "The man on the bike is wearing a suit. I think he is going to work on his bike because he doesn't have a car." The teacher then asks, "Does everyone agree? Is that why this man is riding his bike in a suit?" Another student might say, "I don't think so. I think he just likes riding his bike. Maybe they didn't make clothes for riding a bike then."
7. The discussion goes on until students have shared all they can about the picture.
8. The teacher summarizes what the students said. "So, after looking at this picture we think that, maybe relatives — who lived a long time ago. We can tell this because of what they are wearing and because the picture is black and white."
9. For the next activity, the teacher can either have the students write a few sentences about what they discovered, or read a text related to the picture.
5 Card Story Strategy:
These are two additional examples of the 5 Card Story Strategy using Animoto to make the videos.
After studying the artist, Vincent Van Gogh, the students made their own replicas of the famous painting Sunflowers. We used many of the images we curated on the 5 Card Story as an inspiration to launch our unit of study.
I use the Twitter cards in class to give the students an opportunity to comment on their learning. This could be used as a formative assessment to check for understanding of the content. Most frequently, I have used them as a mode of collaboration. Students can build on each others learning, comments, and questioning.
|Use my Twitter Template to replicate this bulletin board idea. Click on the link below to access the files. |
Twitter Template for Bulletin Board
Visual Thinking Strategies Using Video:
Google Arts & Culture has been refigured and includes images of more than 32,000 works in 31 mediums and materials, from the collections of 151 museums and arts organizations around the world. Museums that are included are alphabetized by first name, Google Art Project offers some solid entertainment and educational value for the classroom.
The education section introduces three tabs for teachers and students:
Looks Like An Expert is a primer for looking at art as a historical document. Nine tutorials examine subject matter and technique and then challenge viewers to match works to those aspects.
DIY (Do It Yourself) lets users try on the role of museum curator by creating an art exhibition. DIY suggests two approaches and provides examples, but there must be as many ways to collect and display art as there are to make it.
What’s Next? provides links to 11 other art websites. One, the Smarthistory.khanacademy.org art history textbook, has short video discussions of art.
Take a look at this introduction video to learn more:
Google Arts and Culture - Tutorial
Art appreciation helps young children learn to think and express ideas
Visual Thinking Strategies
Visual Thinking Strategies for Improved Comprehension
Openthink: Visual Thinking Strategies (Vts) & Museums
This site offers many intriguing photos, including a photo of the day, news photos, photo gallery, and short video clips. These can be useful for supporting content instruction, fostering dialogue with emerging English speakers, and creating writing prompts.
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What is this?
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Common Core K-5
Common Core K-5