Visual literate is the ability to interpret, create or evaluate visual representations of concepts. However as a third grade teacher, I am aiming at the students being able to communicate (and comprehend) through visuals. For instance, have a look at the picture below
My expectations of the children`s ability to interpret this would be that the students identify that there are men in the picture. They are dressed suitably for their occupations, there is industry in the background and that there is a giant fist in the top middle part of the image. The next stage would be for he children to be able to identify that since there is a lot of people in the picture with one of their arms raised, considering its a powerful looking fist, that by working/being together, we are stronger than being alone. Finally, a more advanced interpretation for third-graders, would be that the “working class” element of society is quite a strong one indeed.
With the development of more and more technologies, adults are already spending more time in front of a screen then in front of a page. Daily we are bombarded by media outlets suggesting that could all lose weight if we tried their products, have a happier life if we tuned in to their TV show and even make new friends if we drank their flavoured milk. Sifting through the cow dung is what we do.
In my teaching I use De Bono`s thinking hats to encourage lateral thinking when interpreting images. This provokes thoughtful discussions amongst the students and often hear them referring to the 6 hats when not even prompted – happy days! The next stage in my teaching, would be to propose to the students that they construct a conceptual image of a message they want to convey.
Note to self – Do I really think Banksy is appropriate for 8-9 year olds?