A recent study found drawing can improve our memory more than re-writing or visualizing because it activates more areas of the brain. With this in mind, Megan Kelly set out to incorporate sketchnotes into her English class without it becoming “Language Arts and Crafts.”
By using visual texts, The Art of Comprehension provides a way for nonreaders and striving readers to participate in the same rich, authentic thinking tasks that their reading classmates are doing, even if they have difficulty decoding written words, writes Pam Hamilton.
In “The Art of Comprehension: Exploring Visual Texts to Foster Comprehension, Conversation and Confidence” Trevor Andrew Bryan shows how to help readers learn more about visual texts through a series of frameworks. This strategy sets the stage for students to learn more about how to approach complex stories, fiction and non-fiction, writes sixth grade teacher Kevin Hodgson.
Whether they are fiction or nonfiction, the best stories are told through mood as we react to events, people and emotions. For students, identifying, tracking and exploring moods in stories and images is an easy way to enter into text. Teacher Trevor Bryan shares his approach.
Kids love visual texts such as art and photographs, but as with written texts, they often don’t know where to begin when asked to look at the works critically. Author and NBCT Marilyn Pryle finds that if given specific doorways, her students have much richer discussions.
If every elementary, English and history teacher did even one of the book’s activities each year, our understanding of our students would deepen immeasurably, as would their appreciation of their families and their communities, both local and global, writes Sarah Cooper.
When Lauren Brown left her history classroom and became a teacher educator, she always shared a page of advice when pre-service teachers finished her course. Three years after returning to middle school, Brown updates her tips with fresh insights from the front lines.
GIFs are great teaching tools. The brief videos can bring out the ideas and creativity of students too. Megan Kelly shares how kids can make GIFs with a helpful tutorial and where in the curriculum they belong: ELA, science, social studies math, PE – everywhere!
Helen Hume’s survival guide for grades 7-12 art teachers, coordinators, content teachers and homeschoolers proves to be a rich resource for lessons, project ideas, and art history touching on all the arts. Retired principal Mary Langer Thompson recommends it.
Genre Connections provides teachers with “concrete” advice for helping kids discover different genres in a variety of ways. Tanny McGregor’s suggestions for using art and music are particularly helpful, says reviewer Elisa Waingort.