The CBCA Short List Picture Books provide many opportunities to explore and engage with quality literature. This term Year 5 will explore the short list books in relation to visual literacy or ‘visual grammar.’
Visual Grammar helps us understand and describe the features of a picture that create visual meaning. We learn who or what is in the picture, the activities involved, interactions between characters, emotions, and how the image catches our attention. We can learn to discover by looking deeper and thinking about what we see.
As advised by Callow, 2016 “Talking about the various features of picture books before, during and after reading allows us to teach children about their various features.” Using the CBCA Short List Picture Books offers a perfect way to introduce or extend on visual literacy. Exploring the themes and issues and applying visual grammar elements allows students to deepen their engagement with the books. Furthermore, “formal teaching around visual grammar, with some rules and direction about how to identify and name visual resources and to discuss their effects, will develop visual literacies and allow more people greater access to a wider range of visual skills” (Forrest, 2017, p.43).
What is planned?
- Introduce one of the CBCA Short List books and highlight visual grammar elements
- Provide students with the Visual Grammar Guide available from my TES Resources site
- Group students into small groups and allocate one of the picture books. Working with a partner create a sub-group where each sub-group selects one page (image) to focus on
- Take a photo of the image and using Word or a simple photo writing App such as Phonto annotate onto the image
- Post work to class Blog and share findings
Below is an example applying visual grammar following the guidelines that I created for student use. Goanna by Jenny Wagner is one of the first picture books I purchased in my early teaching days, I found it on my bookshelf and so loved reading it again.