Writing New Media: Theory and Applications for Expanding the Teaching of Composition

By Anne Frances Wysocki; Johndan Johnson-Eilola et al. | Go to book overview

ACTIVITY 1
A VISUAL ESSAY

TEACHER NOTES

GOALS
To involve students in reflecting on and representing
▪ the range of the literacies they have developed in their lifetimes (both online and in-print).
▪ the development of these literacies.
▪ their feelings about/values toward various forms of literacy.
To help students understand how much tacit knowledge they have about visual composition.
To provide students some basic vocabulary they can use in talking about and analyzing visual compositions.

TIME REQUIRED
one homework assignment to compose visual essay (1 week for out-ofclass work).
30 minutes in class for viewing and reflecting on visual essays
30 minutes in class for discussion of successful strategies for:
▪ creating overall visual coherence
▪ visually identifying 2-4 of the essay’s most important points
▪ visually indicating pattern(s) of organization
one homework assignment focused on comparing author/designers’ reflections and audience/viewers’ reflections

SEQUENCE
1Creating a visual essay.

As a homework assignment, each student creates a visual essay on the range of literacies (both on and off computers) they have developed over their lifetimes and their feelings toward literacy.

2Viewing and Reflection Session

In class, students form teams of three for a 30 minute Viewing and Reflection Session. During this session, teams do three rounds of reflection. During each round, the team views a visual essay for 10 minutes and reflects on a series of questions. Composer/designers reflect on what they tried to accomplish; readers/viewers write about what the visual essay communicates to them.

3Discussion

In class, the teacher asks students to point out the successful strategies that authors/designers used in their essays to:

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