Yenawine (1997) in “Thoughts on Visual Literacy” defines begins by explaining that visual literacy is the ability to find meaning in images. Visual Learning Strategies (VTS) simply requires the teacher to present a piece of art (whether a painting, photographer, or something else) and to ask the students to try to explain what they see. This can of course be done in many different ways, whether out loud, discussion, questioning, examining, and more.
My thoughts on this are that when I reflect back on my teaching that I have not done the best with incorporating art. In addition, prior to taking this class I did not truly understand the many benefits to incorporating art. Just learning about VTS showed me that it can help students predict, question, critically think, and more. Lastly, when I began taking this class, I was a little overwhelmed. I thought that incorporating art was going to be a difficult and timely experience, that took away time from the standards I was trying to teach. In the last few weeks, I have learned a lot.
I have now learned a variety of ways to incorporate art into the classroom, easily, effectively, and for the students benefit. My favorite idea (which I fully intend on doing) is using VTS in my language arts classroom. I intend on presenting pictures prior to reading and asking the students to have some sort of discussion of what they see. These pictures will have something to do with the text and will provide the students some sort of background information. This is something quick and easy that I can do, and instead of just requiring my students to read for information (lower level thinking skills), I am requiring them to use a variety of higher level thinking skills. Lastly, as a special education teacher, many of my students often struggle to comprehend these complex texts. This process will give them to background information they need to better understand the reading material.