• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Visual Literacy

Page history last edited by Cole 14 years, 5 months ago



Why Visual Literacy?


What do you see?  What does it mean to you?


 Photo credit: Robin Turk 200



International Herald Tribune



What will engage students most?

How is creative thinking engaged?

How are questions developed?

How are ideas created and shared?

Is there bias or perspective?  Can it be recognized?

What connects to self?




This activity follows:

Debbie Abilock's article,  "Visual Information Literacy: Reading a Documentary Photograph," from the January/February 2008 issue of Knowledge Quest

Library of Congress American Memory Site Media Analysis Tools, Collections and lessons.


Why Visual Literacy.doc  Word version of this activity outline/lesson plan.

A Condensation of.doc A condensed version of the Abilock article to use with teachers and as a quick reference.




Take time to explore published professional reading and practice suggested lessons to use with students and teachers regarding Visual Information Literacy.  Participants utilize Think-Pair-Share and small group work to explore specific lessons, graphic organizers and resources from above article. 


Alaska Standards:  

Content area standards or GLEs would vary depending on the specific area of project or inquiry as Science, Social Studies, etc.


IL Standards:

#1 Inquire, think critically and gain knowledge.

1.1.1 Follow an inquiry based process in seeking knowledge in curricular subjects, and make the real world connection for using this process in own life.

1.1.2 Use prior and background knowledge as context for new learning.

1.1.9 Collaborate with others to broaden and deepen understanding.

1.2.1 Display initiative and engagement by posing questions and investigating the answers beyond the collection of superficial facts.


#2 Draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge.

2.1.3 Use strategies to draw conclusions from information and apply knowledge to curricular areas, real world situations, and further investigations.

2.1.5 Collaborate with others to exchange ideas, develop new understandings, make decisions, and solve problems.

2.1.6 Use the writing process, media and visual literacy, and technology skills to create products that express new understandings.

2.3.1 Connect understanding to the real world.


#3 Share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society.

3.1.3 Use writing and speaking skills to communicate new understandings effectively.

3.1.4 Use technology and other information tools to organize and display knowledge and understanding in ways that others can view, use, and assess.






  • Practice questioning related to images and Visual Literacy.
  • Experience and evaluate using various graphic organizers.
  • Identify and reflect on various themes or purposes of images: perspective, story, contrast/comparison, values, emotions, culture, etc.
  • Collaborate to develop questioning and share points of view.
  • Apply experience to grade level or content area work.
  • Demonstrate and practice Gradual Release instruction method.



  1. Open session with images from China on slide show. 
  2. Give brief description of purpose and process for activity.
  3. Think, Pair Share:   Stop slide show and ask participants to respond to questions or develop questions for certain photos.   Give a few minutes of independent thinking time for each photo, discuss responses with neighbor, then share with whole group.  When sharing discuss reactions to photos and ideas for use with teachers and students.
  4. Repeat Think, Pair, Share procedure with photos from Abilock article on Muir Glacier and child labor introducing Perspectives Chart.  Can divide room so each half does one set of photos to share.
  5. Introduce various graphic organizers.
  6. With graphic organizers continue to review and discuss remaining photos in Abilock article.
  7. Introduce wiki workspace page.  Break into small groups to explore suggested collections at Library of Congress American Memories site, other available sets of images or create own set of images. (See materials list for links to collections)
    1.  Each small group records reflections, comments and connections to teaching for self on Academy wiki page.


Comments (1)

Graeme Nailor said

at 3:36 pm on Mar 6, 2009


You don't have permission to comment on this page.