Visual literacy is the ability to interpret and make meaning from information presented in the form of an image. This ability is a pre-reading skill that is also needed for success with augmentative communication.
Research demonstrates that presenting content in multi-modes will assist students with learning new information. According to Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock (2001) learners acquire and store knowledge linguistically (i.e. by reading or listening), and nonlinguistically (through visual images or kinesthetic movements). When students use both systems to represent knowledge they become better able to think about and recall information. There is also evidence to support the use of multimedia for children who are at risk, English language learners, or who have disabilities (Kamil et al., 2000).
Practice and Resources
Visual literacy is the ability to interpret and make meaning from information presented in the form of an image. This ability is a pre-reading skill that is also needed for success with augmentative communication. For students with disabilities, teaching basic visual literacy provides a good foundation for later learning. Following are some activities to help students make meaning from images.
Matching an object to its shadow (Shape discrimination precedes letter identification.
Part/Whole (Provides practice for more advanced shape discrimination.)
Matching Sounds to Pictures (Provides practice for discriminating between different sounds and matching sounds to images prior to matching sounds to letters.)
Marzano, R.J., Pickering, D.J., & Pollock, J.E. (2001). Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Kamil, M., Intrator, S., & Kim, H. (2000). The effects of other technologies on literacy and literacy learning, in M. Kamil, P. Mosenthal,D. Reason and R. Barr (eds) Handbook of reading research. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.