Book ChapterDigital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.
As students try out visual literacy tools, they will begin to “see” concepts and build relationships among ideas by layering new information onto existing knowledge. This chapter is an overview of the concept of visual literacy and of the skill sets needed for a child or adult to be considered visually literate. The chapter provides research that supports the idea that visual literacy is one of the must-have-skills of the 21st century. A photograph, an illustration, a Venn diagram, and a three-dimensional graphic organizer are used to demonstrate ways that students can be introduced to the concept of visual literacy. These tools can be powerful teaching allies in helping students process, organize, interpret, and apply the information they need to know and understand to be successful in the science classroom. They can also be easily integrated into a teacher’s regular instructional practice and can help teachers assess students’ conceptual understandings and identify misconceptions.