My biggest take-away after spending time reading and learning about Visual Literacy is that it's not just about incorporating art in the classroom, but it's a way to spark curiosity, wonder, and engage students in discussion. It incorporates high-level thinking skills such as analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating and is a great way for all students to take part in an open-ended discussion to share their thinking. I think Visual Literacy is especially wonderful for my special education students and my ELL students because it doesn't have the usual setbacks to a literacy lesson that they often encounter that turn students off to the topic (i.e. reading unfamiliar words, high level texts, etc).
I think sometimes teachers (myself included) don't fully understand the benefit to incorporating visual literacy in the classroom because they're so focused on texts and reading levels. However, after learning more about visual literacy through the class assignments, it's not hard to see the benefits of this concept and the high-level thinking skills that can be incorporated through discussions about art and imagery.
I found an article on the website EducationCloset.com that discusses the benefits of visual literacy in the classroom. One thing I found helpful in this article is the teacher prompts that can be used, such as, "what's going on in the picture?" and "what makes you say that?" and "what else can we find?". The article states that the role of the teacher is simply to be the discussion facilitator and it provides tips for teachers when facilitating the discussion. Teachers don't necessarily need to be an expert at art and they don't need to lead the discussion in order to see the benefits of VTS. The link to the article can be found below.
Jaclyn, I really liked your take on the lesson regarding Visual Literacy. As teachers we must create lessons that are engaging and intriguing enough to allow the skills sets to be lasting in our students educational careers. In sparking curiosity, wonder, and engagement, we are assisting our students in being lifelong learners and its within these high-level thinking skills that will create open-ended discussion to share their thinking. You are spot on when stating that Visual Literacy is especially wonderful for special education students because it doesn't have the usual setbacks to a literacy lesson that they often encounter that turn students off to the topic (i.e. reading unfamiliar words, high level texts, etc). Thanks for sharing!