Visual Literacy in Action: Daily Visual Challenge

I used a version of these Daily Visual Challenges with my third grade classes, and I’ve been working on updating them into a format that can be shared. I just posted the first set (for February) in my TPT store. You can preview the Daily Visual Challenges here and download a free sampler.


DVC_phoneI’ve found them to be a great way to incorporate more visual literacy practice into each school day. They encourage students to be observant, train them to strengthen their memory recall, and provide them with opportunities to dive in and explore meanings of visuals.

How do you incorporate visual literacy practice into your day?

Olive and other Miss Takes

Misunderstandings can lead to all kinds of trouble, embarrassment, and (thankfully!) occasionally adventure, but they are not something that we want to abound in the classroom.

Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster by Debra Frasier illustrates the importance of both correct spelling and comprehension when learning new vocabulary. It’s a great story to open up the lines of communication with your students and encourage them to seek help when in doubt. It also shows how initiative and creativity can aid the learning process.

book resources:

Scholastic – Miss Alaineus lesson plan (K-5th)

ReadWriteThink – Learning to Learn with Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster (3rd-5th)

slideshow introducing vocabulary, strategy and skill (5th)

McGraw-Hill – interactive online activities

Creating Vocabularians: Word Connoisseursstrategies for strengthening students’ vocabulary and celebrating words

*in case you’re wondering where the blog post title comes from 🙂

In Other Words

Looking for more resources to help your students with grammar and vocabulary development? Here are some of my favorite books for that:

Many Luscious Lollipops: A Book About Adjectives, by Ruth Heller

Many Luscious Lollipops: A Book About Adjectives, by Ruth Heller

You can learn more about Heller’s World of Language series here and by clicking on the books below.

A Cache of Jewels and Other Collective Nouns, by Ruth HellerKites Sail High: A Book About VerbsBehind the Mask: A Book about Prepositions, by Ruth Heller


I and You and Don’t Forget Who: What is a Pronoun? by Brian P. Cleary

I And You And Don't Forget Who: What Is a Pronoun?, by Brian P. Cleary

Brian P. Cleary also has a book series dedicated to helping students understand the English language. Check out his amazing interactive site here. You can learn more about Cleary’s Words are Categorical books (which are illustrated by Jenya Prosmitsky) here and here and by clicking on the covers below.

Pitch and Throw, Grasp and Know: What Is a Synonym?, by Brian P. ClearyDearly, Nearly, Insincerely: What Is An Adverb?, by Brian P. ClearyBut and For, Yet and Nor: What Is a Conjunction?, by Brian P. Cleary


Dear Deer: A Book of Homophones, written and illustrated by Gene Barretta

Dear Deer: A Book of Homophones, by Gene Barretta


If You Were an Adjective, written by Michael Dahl and illustrated by Sara Gray

If You Were an Adjective, by Michael Dahl


Punctuation Takes a Vacation, written by Robin Pulver and illustrated by Lynn Rowe Reed

Punctuation Takes a Vacation, by Robin Pulver


In a Pickle: And Other Funny Idioms, written by Marvin Terban and illustrated by Giulio Maestro

In a Pickle: And Other Funny Idioms, by Marvin Terban


Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why, Commas Really Do Make a Difference! written by Lynne Truss and illustrated by Bonnie Timmons

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why, Commas Really Do Make a Difference! by Lynne Truss

online resources:

Word Structure (prefixes, suffixes, roots)

First Friday Freebie

Happy New Year!

This year I am going to be adding a new feature to the blog. My First Friday Freebie will appear the first Friday of each month and provide you with some type of lesson, activity, and/or printable to help you incorporate more visual literacy into your classroom.

Adjective Comparisons

You can download my first First Friday Freebie here. “Adjective Comparison” is a language arts activity for grades 2-4 and is aligned to the 3rd Grade CCSS ELA-Literacy.L.3.1g. It includes activities to teach the positive, comparative, and superlative degrees.

This activity can be used along with the book Things that are most in the world by Judi Barrett to provide students with visual ways to think about and understand comparisons. I love the silly illustrations and the ways this book makes you think about comparisons. Can you think of anything that would be smellier than a skunk convention?!

Extension activities are included with ideas about how to integrate this language arts activity with a science lesson using sites like Extreme Science, The Travel Almanac, and Guinness World Records.

Have fun learning and comparing!