Teach Vocabulary Lessons Using Visual Art
Think about the last time you were asked to define a vocabulary term. For some learners, the conventional methods of reading or hearing a recited definition and example sentence might be effective. But for many, just hearing or reading these may not penetrate deeply enough to make a lasting impression.
Vocabulary Lessons on Literacyhead.com take into consideration the increased likelihood of reaching all students at their varying degrees of learning readiness when they are presented with multiple representations of an unknown vocabulary term’s meaning.
Here is how Literacyhead can help you teach vocabulary; we’ll use the word flowing to explain.
First, the term is illustrated with a unique typography that represents the word’s meaning.
When a learner or teacher clicks on the word, they see the following.
When clicked, each image thumbnail will display the full image in a larger format.
Click here to see and interact with the actual lesson on Literacyhead.com.
In these visual vocabulary examples, students are not only given three examples of what the term means, but a non-example as well. In most cases, the sentences and the artwork increase in complexity, with the first sentence and image being more straightforward and the third being more abstract. So, Literacyhead’s vocabulary “lessons” are naturally differentiated and are as appropriate for students who struggle with words as they are for students who excel.
I started with an idea to write a post about literacy and the arts. Sometimes we feel disciplined to certain restrictions and principles of literacy and numeracy instruction. While we attempt to cater to visual and kinesthetic learning styles, sometimes it’s harder than it seems. Adding an art into literacy curriculum helps expand creativity for both you and your student. Images help students remember and learn high frequency words, so why not try to add them to a lesson?
One of the best resources I came across is Literacyhead . Literacyhead has lesson plans for teaching reading, writing vocabulary, basic words, technology and many more. The website itself has a year subscription for $99, but also gives several resources for free. You can download printable graphic organizers and Venn diagrams for your class that make writing in them more fun. When teaching vocabulary, make words fun as they come to life! Practice comprehension skills by having students draw a picture that goes along with the story, or have them write the script for additional dialog that they think would happen between the characters you’re reading about.
Brown University also developed the ArtLiteracy project to reach out to youth at a local high school. The base of the project is the belief that “literacy is more than an ability to do well on a standardized test; it is about finding the words to share our stories with the world and to listen and understand the stories the world has to share with us.” They developed a handbook that can help you create, edit, and interpret text with your student.
There are several ways you can bring the FUN in reading FUNdamentals and help your student increase knowledge in more than one area. Have fun and let us know what you choose to do!
“To encourage literature and the arts is a duty which every good citizen owes to his country”- George Washington
Did you know that Americans who read books, visit museums, attend theater, and engage in other arts are more active in community life than those who do not? Arts participants, especially readers, engage in positive civic and individual activities, from exercise to charity work, at a strikingly higher rate than non-participants (National Endowment for the Arts). For literary readers, the volunteer rate is 43%, nearly three times greater than for non-readers. As members working in the literacy field, we understand that reading opens several doors for individuals to become productive members of society. So what else can we do?
The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, recognizes the importance of the arts and literacy. They have several adult, family, and youth education programs at their campus. On their website, they provide teacher’s guides, lesson plans, and crafts for students of all ages. The teacher’s guide includes painting descriptions, key works from the collection, a biography of Salvador Dali, as well as a resource list for all their opportunities. This is perfect if you and your student want to go on a field trip or explore a different curriculum. The lesson plans cover a variety of subjects. It creates a multi-faceted learning experience where students are able to learn about Dali’s life and work, but also practice reading and critical thinking skills.
The Dali Museum makes several efforts to highlight student work and include education into their curriculum. They are also minutes away from the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront, site for the 2012 Florida Literacy Conference, and contributed tickets to the famous silent auction.
Bethany Mead, the Education Coordinator at the Dali Museum, has a few words on the Dali’s Junior and Teen Docent programs. Read more to find out! Read about the Junior and Teen Docent programs