I am learning to explore images and visual representations in text so that I can explain their role in projecting meaning.
- I can connect meaning to the images used in the text.
- I can share inferences and plot scenarios after analysing an image.
At the beginning of the lesson display the 6 images used in the text and as a class, discuss and make predictions about what may have happened in each image.
Explain to the students that they will be looking at the text through the lens of Visual Literacy. For clear and equitable understanding of this term define visual literacy as:
“The ability to decode, interpret, create, question, challenge and evaluate texts that communicate with visual images as well as, or rather than, words. Visually literate people can read the intended meaning in a visual text such as an advertisement or a film shot, interpret the purpose and intended meaning, and evaluate the form, structure and features of the text. They can also use images in a creative and appropriate way to express meaning” (NSW English Syllabus Glossary)
There are many different ways in which a text can be interpreted from a visual literacy level. The main elements to establish shared understanding of for this text analysis are:
Colour: Is used in visual text and helps to establish the mood of the text. It helps to share the language of emotion that is being conveyed by the author or illustrator.
Contrast: Can be visually created in different ways through use of different colour palettes, shapes and/or techniques. Contrast can create tension in visual texts and make subject matter stand out.
Balance and Harmony: Readers and Viewers are more comfortable when images are balanced and harmonious, this is created through symmetry, sense of proportionality in the images. Disharmony can be intentionally created when there is not equality amongst images. Creatives do this on purpose when they want the reader to feel a sense of discomfort.
Perspective: A clever technique used in visual or written compositions. Authors use carefully chosen words and dialogue to convey perspective of characters or establish a setting. Illustrators use different angles and place key features in unusual ways to establish perspective in a visual piece.
Movement: Is an engaging tool when used wisely by creatives. Movement is created consciously by the careful and considered placement of shapes, lines, curves and other forms. Movement helps to establish feeling and emotion with a visual piece.
Emphasis: Creatives establish a central focal point by making certain features of their visual text stand out. Authors do this by placing words in bold or unusual fonts, they also use call outs to draw your attention to specific information. Artists may establish emphasis by using particular colours that catch our eye whilst the background remains muted colours. Creatives establish the most important focal point by using emphasis.
Now that we have established shared understanding of these visual literacy techniques, think about them carefully as we begin to read the text. You should also consider these techniques in your own compositions, written and visual.
If you would like to learn more about Visual Literacy for your teaching practice then follow this link Visual literacy in educational practice.
Share Worksheet 1 with students and ask them to notice that there are two images on each page. Have students work in pairs with each student investigating an image. For example, one student will work on Image 1 while their buddy will work on Image 2. Using the worksheet as a framework, allow students time to complete their predictions and answers for their image.
Discuss their findings with their buddy and share insights.
As a class, read the text. Students will now see how their allocated image fits into the text and recognize that visual literacy gives meaning behind the author and illustrators choice of image. Discuss and share the ideas that students had from their image analysis. Align any similarities between the students’ inferences and story.
Engaging Personally Students can write a short piece in their workbook on the topic - When have you had a misunderstanding with your friend? What was the misunderstanding and what resolution did you have which enabled you to be friends again? Draw a picture to accompany one section of your text. Ensure that the image gives the reader a clue as to the feelings you had.