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Teaching Visual Literacy

Teaching Visual Literacy
Using Comic Books, Graphic Novels, Anime, Cartoons, and More to Develop Comprehension and Thinking Skills

March 2008 | 208 pages | Corwin
Educators today understand that literacy involves at least five processes: reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing. This thoughtful and practical book by a team of literacy experts offers classroom teachers a guide to using visual forms of information as tools for literacy development. The authors provide strategies for fostering visual and critical literacy competencies and increasing student engagement through the use of picture books, comic books, graphic novels, traditional films, anime, and other visual sources of information. Each chapter examines relevant research and theory, and presents practical applications for the classroom.
About the Editors
About the Contributors
Lynell Burmark
1. Visual Literacy: What You Get Is What You See
Jacquelyn McTaggart
2. Graphic Novels: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
James Bucky Carter
3. Comics, the Canon, and the Classroom
Kelly Chandler-Olcott
4. Seeing the World Through a Stranger’s Eyes: Exploring the Potential of Anime in Literacy Classrooms
Rocco Versaci
5. “Literary Literacy” and the Role of the Comic Book, or “You Teach a Class on What?”
Thomas DeVere Wolsey
6. That’s Funny: Political Cartoons in the Classroom
Lawrence Sipe
7. Learning From Illustrations in Picturebooks
Lawrence Baines
8. An Irrecusable Offer: Film in the K-12 Classroom
Paula Kluth
9. "It Was Always the Pictures…": Creating Visual Literacy Supports for Students With Disabilities

"This book puts into practice what we’ve long known but often ignored: one picture is indeed worth a thousand words! The chapters offer an up close and practical look at how images in all their many forms can be used to motivate reluctant readers."

Donna E. Alvermann, Distinguished Research Professor
University of Georgia

"The literacy I want my students to possess involves more than simply being able to read and write. Just as vision entails more than seeing, being visually literate means that students can interpret and reflect upon images as well as words. Frey and Fisher's collection of essays will help you help your students develop the literacy they need for this brave new century."

Carol Jago, Director, California Reading and Literature Project
University of California, Los Angeles

"This book is a cogent reminder that an expansive defition of 'literary text' is necessary if we are to reach out to all students in our classrooms. A highly useful resource for teachers who wish to explore using graphic novels as part of their curriculum."

Doug Buehl, Adolescent Literacy Consultant

My course is so overloaded as it is I cannot ask for students to adopt another full text (though I found it to be excellent!)

We need a nonprint media literacy class. This would be perfect for that.

Dr Kim McCollum-Clark
English, Millersville University
May 21, 2013

This will prove a useful reference book for teachers at all levels. It discusses how a wide range of texts, including comics, graphic novels, political cartoons and films, can be used to develop children's thinking skills. Each chapter is supplemented with a very useful bibliography that will point the interested reader towards further reading, and there is wealth of tips and techniques for introducing non-traditional texts into the classroom.

Dr Damien Shortt
Faculty of Education, Edge Hill University
July 12, 2010

Sample Materials & Chapters


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ISBN: 9781412953122