The potential of the visual: Teaching literacy with multimodal texts
By Jennifer Asha
Educational Publishing Awards Australia 2023 SHORTLISTED for the Primary: Reference Resource category
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Never has it been more critical for our students to be visually literate. The use of visual images to convey information, tell stories and persuade the viewer in complex and sophisticated ways is prevalent in many modes of communication in our society. To be literate is therefore now about more than being able to read printed text; it is also about closely viewing, deeply understanding, meaningfully engaging with and critically responding to visual texts. The potential of the visual: Teaching literacy with multimodal texts gives teachers the pedagogical knowledge and practical tools you need to teach your students to become active, aware and critical viewers.
The pedagogical principles of Explicit teaching, Quality talk and the Gradual Release of Responsibility model underpin this text, providing a cohesive approach to visual literacy teaching.
The two-part structure to the book ensures teachers and initial teacher education (ITE) students are provided with both the theoretical knowledge and skills to teach visual literacy, as well as the practical examples of how to implement this in the classroom.
The wide range of mentor and model texts included as exemplars provides inspiration and clear guidance for teachers on how to analyse and teach the meanings included in images and multimodal texts.
The walkthrough of the entire teaching and learning cycle, including a section on assessment, will give new or pre-service teachers the confidence to put the skills learned from this book into practice
Part 1 of the book outlines the theoretical knowledge that teachers need to teach viewing as an integral part of teaching literacy. It puts forward a pedagogical framework, translated into a teaching and learning cycle, for teaching literacy in our visually rich environment. Part 2 uses a variety of high-quality multimodal texts – picture books, advertisements and videos – to demonstrate the teaching of viewing in authentic contexts. Each of these chapters, separated by year groups, provides a lesson example for an imaginative, an informative and a persuasive text. The example lessons can be extended to include investigation of other visual and verbal features evident in the focal text as part of literacy learning.
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