Sunday, May 18, 2014

Visualisation and Imagery - Reading Comprehension

"This book explores the many dialogues that exist between the arts and literacy. It shows how the arts are inherently multimodal and therefore interface regularly with literate practice in learning and teaching contexts. It asks the questions: What does literacy look like in the arts? And what does it mean to be arts literate? It explores what is important to know and do in the arts and also what literacies are engaged in, through the journey to becoming an artist. The arts for the purpose of this volume include five art forms: Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music and Visual Arts. The book provides a more productive exploration of the arts-literacy relationship. It acknowledges that both the arts and literacy are open-textured concepts and notes how they accommodate each other, learn about, and from each other and can potentially make education ‘better’. It is when the two stretch each other that we see an educationally productive dialogic relationship emerge." Georgina Barton PhD

Chapter 13: Using Visualisation and Imagery to Enhance Reading Comprehension

"Reading comprehension is a dynamic process that requires readers to construct meaning while they are decoding text. During the reading process readers do not normally retain verbatim text information but develop other, more flexible knowledge structures. Skilled readers do this by constructing a mental model incorporating both visual and verbal information in the form of a cohesive representation of the meaning. The construction of a mental model is formed by the integration of the reader’s prior knowledge with the text structure or story content. For example, good readers tend to make bridging inferences by incorporating their own relevant background knowledge to fill in the gaps when important information is not given in the text. When readers are taught to visualise story events they are able to make appropriate inferences because visualising enables them to draw on their own prior knowledge and life experiences. As readers visualise while reading they become more engaged with the text, enjoy what they are reading, and often imagine themselves as if they are actually in the story. Imagining story ideas during reading links information in working memory and makes the encoding and recall of information more efficient. This chapter discusses how visual imagery techniques such as drawing, manipulating objects, forming mental imagery, developing characterisations, and using story structure can improve reading comprehension performance." Dr Gary Woolley PhD


  1. Looks interesting! I was just thinking about visual imagery last week as students drew pictures of caves before we read a text about them. Today we visited a cavern, so I'm interested to see how they will have synthesized the text information + their own experiences to enrich their original drawings. I think there is so much to learn from looking at what students draw before and after a text!

  2. Hi Emily,
    Thanks for your comment - I like the idea of drawing pictures before visiting the cave.
    Let me know how it went - Love to see some pictures.
    Could try drawing before, during and after to see the development.

  3. It turned out a lot differently from how I expected! I put some pictures up over on my blog: