The movies and our class discussion was another favorite part of Visual Literacy this semester. Everyone in the class had a different perspective to offer when considering issues and visual theories that we encountered. Now when I watch commercials, I always think of Jean Kilbourn's Killing Us Softly, and I am shocked at how many ads contain subtle messages within the visual choices they make. Thinking about this fact, I wonder how I represent myself with my actions and body language. Non-verbal language, and visuals, say so much MORE than words. You know that phrase "actions speak louder than words,"? Well, it is incredibly true, and now more than ever I am tuned into the way visuals communicate in our society.
I had a great time in Visual Literacy this semester, and I will be able to use my knowledge in my future classroom. I just designed a teaching unit focused on Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. I included an activity that was exclusively about using the visual communicative power of woodcuts in conveying a story. Students have to view different pictures, without seeing the accompanying words, and determine what is happening in the plot. There are lots of resources available out there for connecting medieval literature with art. Thanks to visual literacy, I know I will be more prepared to help students "make the invisible visible," and find deeper meaning from their classroom activities. I want them to look twice, at everything they encounter. Maybe they'll become a famous artist or filmmaker someday, and they can say, "my high school English teacher challenged me to do this." I would be so proud :)