A “Picture Book” of America

… another fun website that provides students with some amazing visuals:

movies like “The Big Sneeze” and Blackton’s “The Enchanted Drawing“;

photographs of rural America, Edison in his laboratory, President Theodore Roosevelt and his family, and many others;

and games and other opportunities to test their knowledge of America’s history.

Pictorial Calendars

Mandy Barrow of the Woodlands Junior School in Great Britain has created an amazing resource: a Pictorial Facts a Day Calendar for 2010.

For each month, she has put together a daily calendar commemorating holidays, historic events, and other special days. Each day’s link includes  pictures and information explaining why the day is special.

What a fun way to spark discussion and enhance student learning!

Sometimes the next best thing…

. . . is a picture!

Are your students learning about




but have never seen one in real life?

Then bring these to your students using sites like these:

Free Nature Pictures

Best Picture Gallery

Travel Photos from TrekEarth

Travel Photo Gallery

Hubble Site Gallery

And better yet – with live webcams:

The Amazing FishCam — the oldest live camera on the Internet

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo – GiraffeCam

Animal Cams

Animal Webcam Locator

National Park Service: Grand Canyon Air Quality Web Camera

Happy Looking!

Picture It!

Graphic organizers are powerful teaching tools that can help students brainstorm, sequence, and organize information.

Freeology.com provides a vast supply of free graphic organizers useful in literacy as well as all content areas. With a few clicks, you should be able to find one that fits well with your lesson or activity.

As they say, “A picture is worth 1000 words.” Here’s a great way to bring more pictures into your classroom.

Visual Literacy at Work

Opportunity to contribute to the second edition of I See What You Mean:

Stenhouse Publishing is providing an opportunity for educators to share their adventures in visual literacy. See information from their website below and then visit this link if you are interested in participating:

If you are a classroom teacher interested in visual literacy and you are willing to try some new ideas, here is an opportunity to contribute to a new Stenhouse book. Your students’ work could be featured in the second edition of I See What You Mean by Steve Moline!

The new edition of I See What You Mean will investigate these questions:
Do visual texts help us to comprehend what we read?
Do visual texts help us to organize what we write?

You are invited to investigate these questions in your classroom through an activity with students:
1. Read two or more books or websites on a topic.
2. Summarize the information into one visual text. (See examples on the Stenhouse website linked above.)
3. Use this visual text as a “plan” for writing their own account.

Sometimes Seeing is Believing

Looking for more ways to represent information visually? Try this link to A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods. This site provides 100 examples of visualization methods for data, information, concepts, strategies, and metaphors showing both process and structure.


Seeing the Ideas

Last weekend I attended an Apricot, Inc. workshop entitled Cognitive Strategies through Language “Thinking through Doing. The presenters shared some background info and theory on how we learn and then demonstrated how to draw in real time to develop content vocabulary dictionaries, cartoon content, and flow chart the language of formal concepts.

In their book A Guide to Visual Strategies for Young Adults, the authors Dr. Ellyn Arwood and Mabel Brown state, “Learning occurs at three levels: sensory input, perceptual pattern development, and conceptualization. Language represents the concepts. Concepts grow through using concepts in layers and by overlapping past and present knowledge. Language [adds meaning to concepts and] allows concepts to be stored in memory for retrieval” (p.5).

The presentation was based on Dr. Arwood’s research in language function, language learning systems, and visual literacy. I left with a lot to think about and some new strategies to use as I teach.

You can find more information about Dr. Arwood’s research and workshops by visiting her website or reading her books: