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Reading Visual Texts


Visual literacy: The ability to decode, interpret, create, question, challenge and evaluate texts that communicate with visual images as well as, or rather than, words. Dr. Diana Dumetz Carry


In order to read visual texts, students need to understand the way visual language works to convey meaning. We must help our students think critically about the images that make up their world. Many of the same strategies used to make sense of print, can be used to understand a visual text. Like print, visual language has its own genres, features, codes and conventions. All of which work together in the construction of meaning.

On the following pages, you will find ideas for teaching reading strategies and critical literacy with a variety of visual texts including picture books, photographs, TVshows, films and more.


Picture books offer certain unique advantages when we deliver instruction. Of all literature that lends itself to reading comprehension strategy (...)
Comic books are complicated and becoming more complicated pieces of literature not only in the plot, story and characters, but also (...)
We want our students to understand that readers are always thinking. This is true whether they are reading a novel, looking at the advertisements (...)
Long before Photoshop and other image-editing tools, artists, photographers, and composers were manipulating images. We still live in a (...)