Sunday, February 5, 2012

Teaching Visual Grammar: Method & Models for Students

I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way—things I had no words for.  —Georgia O’Keeffe

The other day I wondering about how we are deliberately teaching visual grammar and literacies. One way that I have introduced graduate students to visual grammar is through an engagement with shapes that Molly Bang outlines in her fabulous book, Picture This. The process I am outlining via this slideshare has been used by middle and secondary teachers very successfully with their students.

Playing with shapes in order to (re)tell a story or illustrate a phrase helps learners to internalize Bang's 10 insights about how shape influences the way we feel. After students have had the opportunity to internalize Bang's visual grammar, viewing still and/or moving images can help learners to apply what they have been leaning. Here are a  few models that I appreciate for their visual and narrative work. As you view, you might see which elements are present in these works.

If you do this work with students, would you drop me a tweet (@maryannreilly) or a comment on the blog letting me know how it went?  Always curious about such things.

Rick Mereki's  Move

MOVE from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

Colin Hesterly's World of Motion

World Of Motion from Colin Hesterly on Vimeo.

Copete's Bubble Gum

Bubble Gum from Copete on Vimeo.

Next Level Pictures: 8 Hours in Brooklyn

8 hour span of video taping in Brooklyn.

8 Hours in Brooklyn from Next Level Pictures on Vimeo.

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