Block Three - You Oughta Be In Pictures


The ability to form mental images plays a prominent role in enhancing reading comprehension. Visual tools allow readers to create movie posters of books, trading cards of important characters, representations of vocabulary, or an illustration of a memorable moment in the text.

Reading books and interpreting them using words is not the only way to have students practice critical literacy. Proficient readers spontaneously and purposefully create mental images rich in detail as they read (Keene and Zimmerman, 2007).Golden (2001), in Reading in the Dark: Using Film as a Tool in the English Classroom, states that "the skills students use to decode visual image are the same skills they use for a written text, and our goal, therefore, is to use that immediate interest...and make it work for us in the classroom."

Visual information is everywhere online, and the importance of being visually literate cannot be overstated. Visual literacy has been identified as an essential literacy by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills; and with the development of the tools and contributory capacity of Web 2.0, it is critical that schools focus on helping students acquire the skills necessary to navigate, evaluate, and to communicate with visual information. Read more at Web 2.0 and the New Visual Literacy

Will Richardson, author of Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms, provides several convincing reasons for using images to deepen and stretch meaning:
  • Images supplemented with notes and details provide a rich tapestry of the learner's current understanding
  • Images can be used as a means of inquiry - to reflect, to predict, and to question
  • Images verbalize a learner's visualization of read text.

Block Three Overview

In this block we are going to focus on creation. In 2007 The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) revised their National Educations Technology Standards (NETS) to include creativity and innovation as their first point. As well, Bloom's Taxonomy has also been revised with the highest order thinking skill creation. You will work with images and using the new web-based tools promote a book that you would nominate as an award winner. You will continue the conversation that we began in the previous blocks by posting to your blog.


Creativity and Innovation
Learners will demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.
  • apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
  • create original works as a means of personal or group expression.
  • use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.
  • identify trends and forecast possibilities.
Technology Operations and Concepts
Learners will demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations.
  • transfer current knowledge to learning of new technologies

Achievement Indicators

Each learner will have created at least one new post on their blog that includes the following:
  • a link to uploaded photos at flickr
  • a photo
  • images from two different image generators
  • an uploaded visual that exemplifies a connection to the selected book (a book poster, movie poster, vocabulary assignment)

Learning Activities

In this block, we will examine four types of image tools:animation.gif
Photosharing sites such as flickr - these tools provide online storage space for your photos from which you can organize, tag and share them with others
Slideshows and other photo-based tools - some which require your photos to be on flickr and other which allow you to upload your images from your computer
Image Generators - fun little web-based tools that allow you make modifications to images.
Image editors which allow you to do basic editing such as changing the size of your photo, adding effects, etc.

Image Generators
examples of how image generators can be used to enhance meaning
  • Vocabulary: Photos used to demonstrate vocabulary words
  • Sun Signs: A book poster created to illustrate my synthesis of the text.
  • Character Trading Card: While not a character in a book, "The Librarian in Black" is certainly a character. I strongly encourage subscribing to her blog.

tryitout.jpgWe will begin by exploring and using three simple image generation tools. These sites provide drawing and cartoon characters to which you can add your own text.

After viewing the three tools select one and generate an image to put on your blog.

Flickr is the best known of the photosharing sites. It lets you upload your photos, and make them more interesting to an audience by adding comments, descriptions, and tags to them. When your photos are stored at flickr you can access them from any computer - anywhere in the world. You can share them with friends, colleagues, students and family.

This Flickr video from UTechTips provides an nice overview of flickr features. It is not a tutorial but it gives an idea of how flickr can be used with students. It also shows how other simple tools that developers have created based on flickr.

tryitout.jpgCreate a flickr account and upload 5 - 6 photos to the web. Make sure you put a link to the photos on your blog.

Note: Many of the Photo Web based tools that we are showing you will allow you to upload photos directly from your hard drive. There are three reasons that learning to use flickr is important
  1. If you use classblogmeister for your classroom blog you can only use photos that are stored on the web.
  2. There are many times when you and your students will want to create collections of photos that can be shared with each other with parents and even with others around the world. Tagging (the assigning of key words to describe a blog, a wiki page or a photo) makes sharing and accessing the photos very easy.
  3. You can access the photos from a home or school computer.

Slide Shows.
One of the great joys of Web 2.0 are all the wonderful ways that one can share their photos with others. Explore the slide show programs and the examples below.
  • Pictobowser - a great way to make a simple slide show from your flickr photos - here are my flower photos on flickr
  • BubbleShare - Books, Books, Books
The example below uses pictures taken in a wonderful bookstore in downtown Vancouver
This album is powered by BubbleShare - Add to my blog
  • RockYou - see the slideshows posted on this teacher's classroom blog
  • Animoto - Another flower slide show (with cool music!). I could not seem to embed the video in this wiki but I am able to embed it in my family Blogger site.
  • Slide -- I just tried this one this morning (Sept 9) .... easy, easy, easy! Very nice. Give it a try!
FD Flickr Toys - is a wonderful, very easy, very quick tool to use to create posters, trading cards, magazine covers and many other cools things with photos.

Online Editing Tools
This site you to upload a photo and then edit it with several different tools. You can apply an auto-fix, crop, rotate and flip the photo. Under the Creative Tools tab you can add several nice features, fades, borders, change the photo to sepia tones or B&W. This tool is not a replacement for photoshop or other more complex photo editing software but when you don't have anything else handy it will do the job.

tryitout.jpgNominate the book(s) that you consider to be the very best for the Mock Newbery Award and the Willow Award!
  • Promote your book by creating a poster book jacket or simple slide show
  • Use digital photography, photosharing, or photo manipulation tools to create it
  • Upload ( or embed) your image/slide show to your blog.

Learning Resources

Copyright-Friendly Archives - A list of images and music that are under the Creative Commons license.
Newbie's Guide to Flickr - this is an excellent tutorial that described the alternate ways to upload your photos, tagging, sharing and making notes on your photos. Very useful.

There are other photosharing tools available and this article reviews and compares five of them including flickr.

Just for fun....check out Spell with Flickr

Lincircle I B r A R Chalked Y


Participants are expected to complete this block, You Oughta Be In Pictures, by September 29, 2007.

Block 1: The Nominees | Block 2: The Review | Block 3: You Oughta be in Pictures | Block 4: Lewis Theatre