Visual Literacy 2.0

Module 1 - Module 2 - Module 3 - Module 4 - Module 5 - Module 6

We expect our students to employ images in powerful and evocative ways to convey the messages they need to share. Most state standards set this as a goal.

This is an often overlooked aspect of literacy - the capacity to make meaning and communicate those understandings that have been extracted from information.

"A picture is worth a thousand words."

While trite, the saying has extra veracity in these days of intense marketing. Images are often employed to sway our feelings and heighten our appetites or fears.

Understanding how images work in these ways is part of developing critical skills to apply to media literacy - a close companion to text and visual literacies.

Which of the photographs above does a better job of conveying wonder? The ability to make wise choices is a fundamental skill for those who wish to convince and persuade.

Imagine you have been chosen to develop a one page ad for one of the following campaigns. Few words. One powerful image.

Campaign 1 - Ad for arthritis medicine
Campaign 2 - Ad for blood pressure medicine
Campaign 3 - Ad for anti-depressant medicine
Campaign 4 - Ad for cough medicine

You get one picture and only 40 words to create your ad. Note that each campaign may address a different audience with different tastes, wishes, dreams and fears.

Go to Corbis. Com to identify the perfect image. Copy or save it.

Paste the image into your word processing program. (Note that all these images are for sale, are watermarked and may not be kept beyond the duration of this workshop.) Add your 40 words. Then write a few sentences explaining why you selected the picture you included.

How much would it cost to use this image in a real life ad campaign?

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