Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Visual Literacy and the Doodle Revolution

Sometimes the impact of a conference takes time to trickle down into your classroom. Inspired by some very artistic 6th grades with a habit of doodling and drawing in class, I began thinking a lot about Sunni Brown's presentation at NAISAC this year. I think it's time to embrace a bit of visual literacy in my Humanities classes. Recently, this took the form of doodle review sheets created by the 6th grade as we prepare for an exam on the Roman Republic and Empire.

 Without a doubt, these aren't Sunni Brown worthy doodles. They're clearly the work of students who haven't had a lot of experience or time developing their visual vocabulary. Instead, they reflect the type of visual work the students have been most often exposed to- graphic organizers. Only the first doodle departs from a traditional categorized\boxed\webbed map of ideas. But I suspect with time, the students, at least some of them, will begin to explore beyond.
Just today I assigned a large scale doodle of "Major Causes of the Civil War" as a 7th grade end-of-unit test. So the experiment of teaching continues.

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