Visuals and Reading

Transitioning to the Common Core

Visuals and Reading

by Kathleen Stern

Over the last few years in my seventh grade reading class, I’ve asked students to do more visual analysis and creation. This has nothing to do with the fact that my twin sister is a talented artist and art teacher. Rather, I believe visuals, reading and critical thinking are inextricably tied. First off, we are visual people. Images can make us laugh, cry or gasp. They also make us stop and think. I want my students to react emotionally and intellectually when they see images. Secondly, visuals aid help students access the text and aid in comprehension of a text, vocabulary word or concept. Third, visuals are worthy of analysis in their own right. Students build visual literacy and critical thinking skills needed for high school, college and post-secondary life.

The Common Core gives us an opportunity to leverage visuals, specifically CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.7: which asks…

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