Friday, January 2, 2015

Visual Literacy

What is Visual Literacy? 

Diagrams....Word webs...charts...graphs...and pictures are all types of visual texts. We know that, but do we plan for it or does it just "happen"?

Did you know that approximately 65% of the population are visual learners? It's a known fact....I googled it! So what makes a visual learner?  This is a chart that I found online  and I think it describes the visual-spatial learner beautifully.  I also like how it compares them to the Auditory-Sequential students as well.  Did you know that only 30% of students are auditory-sequential and yet many teachers teach this way....yes, they still do.  (My children have experienced it first hand!)

  I found this visual and being the science nerd that I am I thought it really shows (visually) the difference in the two types of learners.

     When doing this research, I was shocked to find that only 5% of the population are kinesthetic learners.  However, the research does show that most children with ADHD are kinesthetic. So, if you have many students who fall into that category, you will have more kinesthetic learners.

I have also been reading this book:  Developing Visual Literacy in K-8 from NSTA.  This book gives suggestions for using strategies in the science classroom.  Although I don't agree with every strategy the authors present, I do think many of them are relevant.

One of the strategies that I like is teaching children how to analyze images.  The book talks about how images are everywhere...but we don't know how to really look at them.  The eye automatically sees and scans...but the brain needs to categorize the information.  There are many ways you can use images to analyze information.  When you are first introducing it, I recommend that you:

  • Look at images whole group on the smart board or powerpoint  OR
  • Print an image and attaching to a chart where you can analyze it in small group
Once they have the hang of it, I then move on to creating several images and break my students into groups of 3. (Don't ask me why, but for some reason groups of three work best in my room for this type of activity.)  They are given their own chart to document their thinking if you want a written record or to help guide thinking and discussion. 

I have created a FREE document using eight images that are related to "FORCE AND MOTION". I grabbed the images off the internet and since I don't have the rights to them I included the web addresses where I got them.

Please let me what you think!  I hope you can use it in your classroom.



  1. I cannot access this document and I'd like to review it as I am interested in this topic. Can you help me?

  2. Just tried a new link. Let me know if it works now. :)

  3. Interesting! I have the book you mentioned, but I haven't read it yet. I need to get crackin' on it! Thanks for sharing.
    Smarticle Particles