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Updated by Susan Stephenson on Jun 19, 2020
Headline for Visual Literacy for Kids
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Visual Literacy for Kids

Here's a list of articles I've written at and for Scholastic Parents about helping kids develop and practise visual literacy.


Use Images to Start Kids Thinking

A great way to get kids thinking is to offer them the chance to play with words and images. Visual literacy projects involve kids in research, reading, decision making, going beyond superficiality and delving into meaning (perhaps), and communicating a message to an audience.

Start Kids Writing with Fun Image Editors

By playing with words and images, our kids have opportunities to be creative, solve problems, make decisions, make inferences, and develop literacy and computer skills. They will practise creating characters, plot and settings, and getting those elements into the right sequence to tell stories.

Visual Literacy Activities with Children's Picture Books

Visual literacy is something we need to make sure our kids have the skills for. The world is changing rapidly, but already we can see the need for children to know how to react to, and produce materials other than text.

Visual Literacy - Investigate and Play with Images

Our world is becoming more complex visually. We must help kids think critically about what they see. (We also need to help them develop the skills they need to consciously produce visual content that targets an audience appropriately.)

Questions to Promote Visual Literacy

Here are some question starters and questions you might like to use with your kids/students to encourage visual literacy.

Visual Literacy and Self-Expression

Visual literacy is not just about working out the meaning of visual images, but also expressing ourselves in visual form. I have a couple of favourite ways to explore this concept with kids that involve combining succinct text with well-chosen images.

Visual Literacy Activities with Online Resources

Here are some online resources I've found that support the development of visual literacy skills. Almost any website can be examined from the perspective of its visual communications.

Visual Story Telling

Tips and ideas to help kids tell a story in 5 frames (Visual story telling).

Fun and Easy Ways to Make Digital Art with Kids

Simple ways to play with images and make digital art.

Visual Literacy Through Children's Picture Books

Visual literacy means being able to read, understand, and create visual texts. Children's picture books give parents and teachers wonderful opportunities to help elementary school kids become visually literate. Before children start school, they often want to talk about picture book illustrations. Read more at Scholastic Parents.

Book Chook Favourites - Creative iPad Photo Apps

Although I mostly review iPad apps for children, I'm fascinated by image editing apps too. Why? I believe it's because I have a deep appreciation of graphic design and art in general, but also I'm honest enough to admit I would love to one day find an app that lets me make art that looks good.

Creating Images with Students

In a discussion with some Teacher Librarian friends a while back, we mentioned that it's good practice for students to create their own images. We want our students to understand that it's not okay to grab any image they see on the internet. Read more at The Book Chook.