Visual Literacy Teacher Resources

Find Visual Literacy educational ideas and activities

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Tenth graders practice their visual literacy skills. In this visual arts lesson, 10th graders examine digital images from the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian. Students then analyze the artistic images and discuss their interpretations.
Students focus on visual literacy in this lesson which can be incorporated to any previous lesson. Using images, they identify the visual elements and design in them and examining the various patterns present. In groups, they discover and discuss any hidden meanings in any of the images they view.
Students develop their understanding of the effects of invisible air pollutants. In this invisible air lesson, students complete experiments with a rubber band air test, a bean plant experiment and by exploring engineering roles related to air pollution. In an associated literacy activity, students develop visual literacy and write photograph captions.
Students consider works of art in their historical context. In this art in historical context lesson, students are encouraged to think about and record their prior knowledge of the historical period and to make inferences about the artist's circumstances and possible intent. Writing prompts are provided for essay writing activities.
Students identify techniques used to communicate visually. They compare and contrast different visual techniques found in mass media. They apply their understanding by creating photographs that use a variety of visual literacy techniques.
Students examine photographs before writing captions for them. They develop visual literacy as they see how photographs are manipulated to show the effects of acid rain. They rewrite the photo captions after a class discussion.
Learners view examples of images and discuss why a director or writer chose these images. Using different forms of media, they develop their own standards by which to judge television or films. They discover the use of visual literacy as a skill to interpret images that surround them.
Can we do it? Yes we can! Your class can become Common Core masters with a fine set of posters that state each of the kindergarten literacy standards in a friendly "we can" statement. Each of the posters contains two standards, a "we can" statement, the standard identifier, and a graphic to support understanding. 
  • These would be great to use during literacy units, as a learning display, or to showcase what standards are being addressed through instruction every day of the week
Students explore water located near where they live. In this map skills maritime activity, students use Google Maps to find their school and the body of water closest to them. Students research the body of water and answer questions about it.
Students consider the relocation of Japanese Americans during World War II. For this Japanese relocation lesson, students examine photographs by Dorothea Lange, the "Pledge of Allegiance," and a US government flyer from 1942. They use visual literacy to write about the photo and to understand a difficult situation in US history.
Students make links between their own lives and the lives of other people by studying a photo. In this visual literacy lesson plan, students are divided into groups, look through the photo gallery, and choose one photo with people. Students record the content of the photo and then may write captions for the pictures.
Students demonstrate visual literacy skills by analyzing the images from the mural in the Library of Congress. In this visual art analysis activity, students examine the mural and further their knowledge by using tools of art and design to analyze other images from the Library’s extensive online collections.
Students scan images so that details can be seen. They focus on locating visual details and determine how they affect the overall meaning of an image.
Knowing the Common Core standards is a must for educators and learners alike. Here is an extensive set of literacy standards based on current kindergarten standards, but modified for learners in pre-school. The set includes display ideas, a rationale, and image-rich posters that state each literacy standards in friendly comprehensible language. There are 44 pages to print; each has one to two standards.
  • Use to showcase learning goals for the day
  • Use to guide you as you compose a literacy unit 
  • Use to keep children and classroom aids focused on the days topic/standard
An extensive lesson on art analysis, storytelling, critical thinking, and observation awaits your class! They learn to observe and read art the way they would a story; paying attention to details, historical context, and visual cues that describe a place, time, and thought. The lesson is broken into four parts, where learners discuss what they see, review content specific vocabulary, and finally create a work of art that expresses a story. Note: The lesson could be used in either an art or language class.
Paul Chan's latest exhibit includes seven manifestations of light. Today, kids analyze the pieces 1st Light  and 5th Light. They consider the concept of opposed or dualistic realities found in literature, society, and Chan's work. They then write a short story on themes of apocalypse, using 1st and 5th Light as inspiration.
There are so many flood stories and myths throughout history, each having similarities and differences. The painting Deucalion and Pyrrha depict a stormy scene one might see prior to a flood. Learners work to find the relationship between the myths and the painting. They then use the visual cues in the painting to compose an original flood story. A neat lesson plan with a lot of cross curricular potential.
Oh those awesome ancient Egyptians! Kids hit the books for an art analysis instructional activity. They research the art, culture, and beliefs of ancient Egyptians in regard to their use and creation of mummy cases. They write a compare and contrast essay that focuses on written versus visual information. They then create a mummy case that represents their personal beliefs. The resource includes tons of great images!
Build visual literacy, discussion, and critical thinking skills with an innovative art activity. Young analysts discuss the use of decalcomania, surrealism, and automatism in various contemporary pieces, discuss constructed truth, and nontraditional artists. Then use decalcomania to create an original piece in order to transform a natural landscape.
The goal of studying is to retain information, right? This resource takes review into the 21st century using Inspiration Software. Although specifically designed for this program, the visuals and steps here offer great ideas independently. An anticipatory set has learners recognizing the value of visual study guides. They use a pre-designed template, adding notes, graphics, hyperlinks, text, and even a quiz. An example demonstrates to pupils what is possible with this program.

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