Monday, 20 February 2012

Images That Teach: Pay attention, kiddos. I'm giving you directions!

Non-Fiction has been my unit topic for Writing Workshop during these last two weeks.  I have to say building this unit with my teacher/partner has been exciting and challenging.  Halfway though last week, my students were making their posters and integrating non-fiction features into their work, and I wasn't quite sure it was all going to turn out.  But it did.  And I'm ready for another week of topic studies.  We are using these topic studies to grab hold of main ideas and details in non-fiction text topics chosen by students.  Then, depending on the text level of the book, I am helping them narrow in on what they can read and what they can do with that information to teach through images and other non-fiction text features.

The surface of the Earth is covered by land and water.
How much information do teachers present in an average day?  And why am I not using these features to teach, whether it be in a power point presentations, on a morning message, or in my charts I use to anchor my core lessons?  What if I challenged myself as a teacher to start teaching using some of these text features.  Here are the ones I use the most:

  • clip art
  • bullets
  • headings
  • lists
  • Text boxes
Here are some I want to use more:
  • definitions
  • photos with captions
  • graphic organizers
  • graphs
  • maps
During the next few days, I am going to try and use more visual features to teach.  Using these at the beginning of each lesson may just spark more student engagement.  Getting them more involved and thinking during the beginning of a lesson continues to become more and more challenging as kids become less and less engaged with people and more engaged by images and visuals.  Interesting?  I'll let you know how it goes.

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