Tammy Garcia runs this great website about art journaling. If you don’t know how to get started or want to get inspired, go to Daisy Yellow. Tammy provides tons of ideas, tutorials and prompts. Here are two articles Art Journaling for Kids|Tweens|Teens and Art Journaling 101
Archive for the ‘multimodal’ Category
Do you think our human visual perception is pretty amazing? Think again and learn about the mighty Mantis Shrimp.
It has the most sophisticated visual system in the world, as its eyes contain 16 different types of photoreceptors (12 for color analysis, compared to humanity’s 3 cones). Mantis shrimps can thus see polarized light and 4 colors of uv light, and they may also be able to distinguish up to 100,000 colors (compared to the 10,000 seen by human beings). from swissmiss | Mantis Shrimp.
And here is another article about this far out creature: How Does the Mantis Shrimp Break Glass Without Hurting Itself? | Mental Floss.
This book published by Tara Books combines so many things I am fond of such as 1) Indian tribal painting, 2) children’s books, 3) pictograms, 4) screen printing – all wrapped into one. So I just added a new category to my blog: a wish list!
Tara is an Indian publisher producing beautiful handmade books. Watch the hand production process of this book here:
via Brain Pickings.
Beautiful mail art by Bifidus Jones – Childhood Farm via MinXus-Lynxus.
I used to love buying and sending postcards, but with the internet, email etc. somehow have stopped doing so. The last postcard I sent was to my grandmother, before she died last year.
Every summer I remind my son to send postcards from his summer travels to his grandparents in two countries and to us and he dutifully obliges. Everybody, grandparents on all sides, me and my husband are delighted. However, recently he told me, that even though he does send the postcards (usually after being gently reminded though a facebook message) he “does not get this postcard thing.” Why would anybody want to receive some random card with a superficial note, when one could send photos and phone, skype, facebook or chat instead?
I don’t know if I managed to explain it to him properly. In any case – for those who grew up without the internet, with telephone land lines, mix tapes and analog film – a card, which has been bought, written, stamped and mailed by somebody, and physically made its way across the globe is still something special.
A few days ago, I signed up with postcrossing.com – a platform in support of sending and receiving postcards from people all over the world. I posted my first cards, on to Belarus, one to Hong Kong and one to Germany and now I will wait and see who will write to me.
I am interested in vernacular creativity, the kind of things ordinary people get up to, the creative practices and processes and the way people connect and interact in creative ways. David Gauntlets “Making is Connecting” comes to mind.
I browsed the gallery of hundreds of postcards posted online, which people have mailed to each other through postcrossing. Yes, the postcards are sent through mail but can also be “collected” online. I particularly like the multiview tourist postcards, which use the letters of the name place as a frame for images. Perfect combination of word and image! So I have picked a few from postcrossing.com to share with you. I would be really chuffed if I got one of those! I’ll keep you, ahem, posted.
See also the academic paper on postcrossing by Ryan Kelly Understanding participation and opportunities for design from an online postcard sending community
And did you know, today is World Post Day!
Here is another creative project for children, creating illustrations fo all the letters of the alphabet, with handprints. The thumbnails are a bit small but if you click on the image they will enlarge a little bit more.
I have always been interested to find out more about Otto Neurath, creator of the international picture language Isotype (International System of Typographic Picture Education) and one of the fathers of is called visual communication today. He was a central member of the Vienna Circle of philosophers. Almost a century ago, in the 1920s he started developing ideas about visualizing social facts, such as statistics on labour and economy in order to make complex ideas about social economics more accessible to all. Read more about Isotype and Neurath here and here.
Like so many other talented Austrians in the 1930s and 40s he had to leave the country ultimately escaping to Britain. He collaborated with designer Marie Reidemeister, who later became his wife Marie Neurath. Just as with other coupes – Paul and Ann Rand and Charles and Ray Eames come to mind – this seems to have been a very creative relationship. After Otto Neurath died in Oxford in 1945 Marie Neurath carried on with the work of the Isotype Institute. Otto Neurath started working on books for children in the 1940s, and the Isotype Institute under Marie Neurath produced many more books for children, notably several series of informational children’s books such as ‘Visual history of mankind’, ‘Wonders of the modern world’, ‘Visual science’, ‘The wonder world of nature’ and ‘They lived like this’. Marie Neurath’s work shows how Isotype, language and presentation can work together in reducing complexity in order to clearly comunicate ideas to children, putting ideas for visual education into practice. All materials of the Isotype Institute are now housed by Department of Typography & Graphic Communication, University of Reading.
“The books show Marie Neurath’s remarkable contributions: her ability to identify unusual relationships between things and ideas, and to analyze and then synthesize complex information into bite-sized chunks. Her approach to making child-friendly visual explanations included teamwork, consultation with readers, and iteration between experts in a particular field and those making visual decisions.” Read more here.
36 cubes to use for storytelling or as creative writing prompt. Unfortunately they are not cheap. There are similar smaller sets available from Amazon, such as three different sets of Rory’s Story Cubes with nine cubes each.
I was so pleased when I found this collection of NOT CLIP ART illustrations posted by maureencrosbie.
“Aren’t you sick of the overuse of Clip Art? I work in schools and have always thought that children’s illustration would make a better visual contribution to posters, newsletters and council and governmental publications. Help me convert. Add your contributions. And feel free to use these for yourself copyright free . Look up “Kids against Clip Art”.
Yes, I am absolutely sick of clipart, also as it is used in hundreds of worksheets for children, used especially in Germany and Austria, and shared online by many well-meaning teachers. I understand the desire and need to create your own teaching material, but high quality illustrations are important too!
The Flickr group “Kids against Clip Art” features lots of children’s drawings, but unfortunately not many are just simple b/w drawings which can be used for photocopiable teaching resources. I have been thinking about ways of creating better clip art as educational resource for a long time, just waiting for the right time making the ideas into proper project.
Sometimes I create teaching materials for primary school children. Usually they are in German, so not very interesting for this blog here. But this picture domino can be understood and used by all people who know the story of Little Red Riding Hood. The domino follows the events in the fairy tale, based on the Grimm version. The idea is, that every child has to narrate the next bit of the story, before they put the next domino piece down. Sometimes essential details have to be filled in such as the wolf devouring grandma and the little girl, but these story elements will rarely be left out anyway. So it is an exercise in sequencing and story telling. But I think it could be fun for grown ups too.
The graphics used are mostly from http://www.thenounproject.com or in the public domain. These images have been designed in the tradition of ISOTYPE and other signs, which are forming an international visual language in their own right. (Think of the signage on airports or the Olympics.) The image of Red Riding Hood is by Emma Pelling and can be found among many other educational resources at http://www.earlylearninghq.org.uk.
I am very much interested in developing Isotype-like icons for children, to be used in the context of literacy, or rather for developing multimodal literacy. I believe that abstracted and well crafted icons can be a stepping stone to alphabetic reading, as the reader has to make inferences. They also could help to communicate very efficiently to children of all languages, for example, in games or websites or other places. Of course this is happening already to some extent – children learn to read emoticons, icons and symbols in contextual menus of games. But I am sure there is more to be achieved.
The pdf is in German. The last page is meant to be a cover for a DVD storage box. I have been thinking a long time about the most practical and efficient way to store and organize learning games in the classroom. I have come to the conclusion that empty DVD covers without the DVD tray are the most simple and elegant solution. They can be stored on a bookshelf, next to books or with other DVDs, so they can be associated with both books and games. This way they can be easily retrieved and put back to where they belong. They are cheap. The boxes shut tightly, so hopefully cards and small game tokens will not be lost too quickly. The instructions can be written on the back cover and as they are protected, they will not be lost or torn. Where appropriate, a booklet or a game plan can be included (often DVD covers have little clips to hold the booklet down). For example, the story of Red Riding Hood could be provided with this game.
I am happy to borrow, steal and promote good teaching ideas and ideas for classroom organization from wherever they come from. However, I claim to be the first to use DVD covers for literacy learning boxes! Here is the printable pdf. You are free to use it. CC: BY-NC-SA
Click here to see the animation: Merry Christmas from the Design Museum.
This was the summer reading for toddlers offered in my local store: children’s magazines with “free” toys: mock mp3-Player, iPhone and mobile phone. Selling early literacy clearly is tied to selling media technology. How to work with that once children start school – that is a question teachers will have to be concerned with.
Maiyko does wonderfully creative stuff with a group of preschool children. Here are some examples of work done inspired by Dr. Seuss’ “Marvin K. Mooney will you please go now!” More can be found at Maiyko’s Photobucket. It is amazing, may look simple, but you can tell that a lot of work and thought has gone into these images. Children most likely reflected on Dr. Seuss’ text and illustrations, came up with their own ideas, wrote their text, made colorful drawings emphasizing the outlines with black pen, added onomatopoetic sound bubbles and even a pretty frame. That is truly multimodal literacy at its best!
How fascinating! I guess, we may safely assume that Magritte’s idea goes back to the time of his early reading experiences. Who knows what kinds of traces primary textbooks leave in the minds of children.
Recently I found out by accident that I have far more subscribers to my blog than I ever imagined. I have not posted for a while, because I have been busy at other sites, but I was so touched when I found out, that I decided to keep posting at least once in a while some of the things I come across, even if I don’t have much time to write thoughtful comments. So here without much further ado a few things related to the educational potential of actions figures, all from a very different perspective. Im my research on superheroes, actions figures played a part, of course. Now here are a couple of videos: firstly, the Brontë Sisters Power Dolls, a must for anybody who loves Victorian novels!
Brontë Sisters Power Dolls
Secondly, Henry Jenkins on “Toying with Transmedia: The Future of Entertainment is Child’s Play” talking at length about actions figures. Jenkins argues such toys served children and young adults as “authoring tools” in stories that grew increasingly elaborate and technologically sophisticated over the years, spawning new kinds of play in our own time. Transmedia is not about “dumbing down popular culture,” Jenkins says. It involves complex mythologies that kids and adults can throw themselves into, with large casts of vivid characters in complex plots rivaling those in Russian novels. Transmedia storytelling also encourages children to “play out different fantasies,” Follow the link to see the video of his talk.Toying with Transmedia: The Future of Entertainment is Child’s Play | MIT World.
This was, kind of, what I wanted to get at in my MA thesis, but of course Henry Jenkins takes it a lot further and much more eloquently than I ever could.
Thirdly, here are David Gauntlett’s actions figures of famous theorists –Anthony Giddens and Michel Foucault – Even though they are almost ten years old, they still makes me smile.
And did I say, that I recently dug out my son’s box of action figures and matchbox cars? (He had wanted to sell them on e-bay last year, but I got upset and I insisted to keep them myself if he did not want to. This summer, I started playing with them and my other new toy, the camera on my iPhone. I might post some of the results soon.
I love all the picture and comic books the children have produced in the winter term during the first phase of the research project “Media Education in Primary Schools”.
This year I will be presenting some of my research into teaching media literacy/multimodal literacy in primary schools, based on results from the MIVA Project on the following international conferences:
„Key Concepts revisited: Teaching Teachers about Media Literacy“ as part of the Symposiums: Teaching Media Literacy in Primary Schools at UKLA International Conference 1010 „The Changing Face of Literacy: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,“ Winchester, 9.-11. July 2010
Abstract: Teaching Media Literacy in Primary Schools
“Teaching media literacy with magazines and comics: a case study from Austrian primary schools“ 32. International IBBY Congress, Santiago de Compostela. 8.-12. September, http://www.ibbycompostela2010.org/
Abstract: Teaching Media Literacy with Magazines and Comics
I will also be presenting at some national conferences and seminars, for example at the Bundestagung zur ganzheitlich-kreativen Lernkultur an der Sekundarstufe 1: BMUKK und in Zusammenarbeit mit der Pädagogischen Hochschule Wien, 27.-28.09.2010. Looking forward to it all.
Parisian Love is a promotional video by Google. Made in the vein of Michael Wesch’s videos I cannot help liking it. It is is really well made.
Keri Smith’s blog is always an inspiring place to drop by, which got me to buy some of her books. Promoting her new “This is Not a Book” book she posted these illustrations on the penguingroup blog:
She sums up very well what sadly, is many children’s experience. It certainly reflects to a large extent what my son had to go through. I might use this in some teacher training course!
Interestingly the Austrian Minsitry of Education has recently issued an edict demanding “holistic-creative learning culture in schools” outlining how creativity should be a guiding principle for learning across the curriculum. This is great in principle, yes, but it beats me how educational authorities think creativity can be ordered on demand. As if a whole national school system developed over centuries, designed to stifle creativity will change with the issue of a five page statement. It will take some substantial backing in the form of funding, appropriate teacher training, dedicated and supportive groups of people in key positions, well planned long term strategies, the freedom to take risks and lots of patience to see some real change. Otherwise it will just remain one more edict which teachers, in reality, are free to ignore.
Which leads to Keri Smiths second drawing in her post on “how I discovered my secret powers: Plot to infiltrate the system.” I think hers is a very good plan – I could do with some more superpowers though :-)
This reminds me of Teaching as a Subversive Activity by Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner, first published in 1971. While the book sometimes is polemical and sketchy and has to be understood within the context of its time, it is still an interesting and thought provoking read. It was also published in German, but is now out of print.