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

VISUAL ESSAY
HOMEWORK
ASSIGNMENT (HOMEWORK)

OBJECTIVES
To reflect on the entire range of literacies (both on-line and print) you have developed over your life; the practices, understandings, and values that make up your literacies; where these practices, understandings, and values came from; how you have developed them; and who has helped you become literate.
To represent this information as richly as possible in a visual essay.
To provide you practice in documenting images.

TASK
Compose a visual essay that represents and reflects on
1 the range of different literacy practices, values, and understandings you have developed over your lifetime (from birth to now)
2 how you have developed these literacies (where, how, who helped)
3 your feelings about these literacies
The audience for this essay is other students in the class. The purpose is to show the range and extent of your own personal set of literacies, their development over time, and your feelings toward literacy at various points of your life.
For the purposes of this essay, we will define literacy broadly—not only as your reading and writing skills but also the values and understandings that go along with these skills. For instance, you might (but don’t have to) include, such activities as reading and writing in print contexts (books and magazines, writing stories and plays), on computers (designing Web sites, reading gaming situations, writing in chat rooms), on television (reading the texts of television programs), in church (reading the Bible, writing for your church bulletin), at home (writing letters, reading directions); in school (reading lab reports, collaborating with a group to compose a report).
The essays should demonstrate a high degree of visual impact.
The essay should demonstrate an overall coherence (elements of the essay should be linked by color, shape, theme, arrangement, etc.).
The essay should identify 2-4 major points as particularly important (using strategies to make these points prominent and stand out from other elements: size, color, contrast, placement, etc.).
Use some pattern of organization to help viewers to comprehend your essay (arrange elements along a timeline, a path, a trail, or some other metaphor that represents your life; separate your computer and your book-based literacies or connect them if they are related).

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