Reading Art

This month I would like to focus on art, its connection to visual literacy, and ways it can be used to support the teaching of reading and writing.

The North Carolina Museum of Art’s Reading Art program is one of many great resources available online. Their curriculum “builds essential comprehension strategies and draws parallels between art, reading and writing. Six works of art from the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) collection illustrate some of the ways artists communicate stories through a visual language of color, line, shape and pattern. The curriculum provides suggestions for teaching students in grades K-8 to use proficient reading strategies, visualizing, determining importance, making connections, inferring, questioning and synthesizing, to analyze a work of art in much the same way they read strategically.

If you teach grades K-2, this is a great place to start. The lesson Telling Stories about Ourselves helps students “learn how visual images communicate meaning,” one of the main building blocks of visual literacy.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The National Gallery of Art are just two of many other places to view art online. These can be great resources for your own visual literacy lessons and are inexpensive ways to bring works of art into the classroom.

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