Last week we had the opportunity to listen to one of the authors of Amplify address a group of Evergreen coaches and principals. She did a great job of breaking down the flash and dazzle of students with devices into real world, real classroom experiences that make both teaching and learning better.
One of the ideas that struck home for me was her mandate that we pay attention to visual literacy and start using close looking as much as close reading. In an age with so much of our information coming to us via videos and visual formats, it’s important that we teach and learn to consume that info as carefully as we would text.
As an example of either the power or the importance of visual medium, please try this experiment in your class.
Watch any one of these three videos with your class and ask them to record what they saw, what they thought and what they wondered. (Yes I am stealing/ using one of those thinking routines form Making Thinking Visible).
Two of these are Animated Shorts that won or were nominated for an Oscar this year. For the most part, they are wordless. Which means the viewer, your students, have to do some of the storytelling themselves. The viewer must infer meaning. Wordless also means that no two people are telling themselves the same story.
We tend to lump inference and critical thinking in as literacy skills, there are many forms of literacy.