DEC Scan Journal : February 2011
Scan Vol 30 No 1 February 2011 12 the students to support each other in voicing their thoughts about the images presented. What we noticed Over the five weeks, student responses (Table 1) progressed from simple character observations, such as I see a boy, I see a fish, to the application of the language of visual literacy: • salient object • demand • offer • size • position • colour. With each new book the language was explicitly introduced, demonstrated and applied to picture book illustra- tions. Developing metalanguage empowered the students to approach the images with confidence. This was observed by visiting teachers who found it almost impossible to read a picture book to the students without them deconstructing each image with comments like That's a salient object and That character is making a demand. This confidence extended to shared reading experiences. The students used their knowledge of the language of visual literacy to make informed responses during large, small and partner groups (Figure 2). Once again, it was the students who had previously sat quietly who spoke confidently and contributed often to discussions. Students also spoke about and related to stories beyond that which was written in the text. They interpreted the images, placing their own perspec- tives on the events, characters and theme of the story. They were connecting. A major contributing factor to student connection and confidence was the fact that there were no wrong answers. Provided a student could support their statement with evidence, their response was justified. A student had to back up an I think response with because I see... Responses were not random; they were thought out. They were, in fact, critical. Analysing the data at the end of the cycle Following the completion of the five lessons, Kylie and I met to discuss the student responses. While students were confident in their ability to identify the visual literacy terminology to a picture, more guidance was required to focus their attention on the selected image, separate to pictures and information found elsewhere in the book. Nevertheless, a solid foundation had been created. We had achieved our expectations and, in doing so, had moved our students towards achieving a better written response to literature. Figure 1 See, Think, Wonder (STW) student response sheet Figure 2 Student partners share responses to images ...students were confident in their ability to identify the visual literacy terminology to a picture...