Visuals and Literacy

When we think of children’s literature our minds naturally go to the picture book. You may have fond memories of beautiful illustrations, the textures of the physical book, or the interplay of words and images. You may recall the experience of being in a classroom and waiting to get a clear view of the picture when a teacher read aloud. Maybe you’ve read a particular story over and over again to a child in your life.

Picture books come in many varieties and for ages from 0-100. They can have text or no text. Whenever we read a picture book, we are reading the images just as much as any text. Just as we learn to read words, we also learn to read images.

In this module, we will be looking at materials used for children in the past and today to teach literacy. We will also explore how we read illustrations and the evolution of the picture book.

What do you remember about learning to read? How did you learn your alphabet? Was there a particular book you remember?

20 thoughts on “Visuals and Literacy

  1. As far as I am considered, my memory of how I learn to read can trace back to the kindergarten days when my Chinese teacher Mrs. Tang teaches the alphabet to us with colorful pictures and merge every knowledge into interesting stories so as to attract our attention. To be honest, in retrospect, I think that most of the knowledge have already been grasped outside the class through daily communication and home teaching by parents and grandparents. In my memory, there is no specific alphabet book that I use while there is a one that the teacher possess during her course of teaching. Alphabet book is not that important for a kid while what counts is the teaching method and design of how teachers infuse these knowledge into kids’ minds.

  2. as long as I can remember in kindergarten,we used to practice alphabet with flashcards.I used to love the book the Lion king just for the drawing.In kindergarten,the majority of the kids are not paying attention to reading, they are pay more attention to drawing or painting.

  3. As a child who grew up in Israel, I remember that first, I learned to identify the letters found in my name. This helped me understand how letters can be combined to create a word. Then, I learned to trace the Hebrew alphabet letters. Lastly, my teacher in kindergarten gave us various activities that encouraged us to recognize and repeat the letter sounds.

  4. As a child rise in the Dominican Republic, I remember my first book because I don’t think there was any pre k and I don’t remember the kinder garden. In the first grade that’s what I can think about the way, my first book small the pictures the letter trying to sound them out. it is so vivid in my memory that four years ago when I was there I purchase the book because of all the beautiful memories.[Mi Libro Nacho De Lectura] that’s the name of the book its nice to see when I go back home that this book goes from generation to generation.

  5. I grew up in Ecuador and I don’t remember any particular book teaching me the alphabet. My teachers and mom use to write the alphabet on the blackboard and that is the way how I learn to recognize the letters on the alphabet. I recalled that book where I learn to read a book called “ Nacho Lee” (Nacho Reads). In there, I learn the different syllables and the different combinations, and finally that how I learn to read.

  6. I dont remember much from when I was learning to read, I do remember learning to speak Spanish and being tutored. There are some books like “Goodnight moon” that I remember very well and I get very nostalgic with. I used to love being read to, and I loved the books with pictures because I didn’t have to try too hard to imagine the story in my head. At some point I stopped liking books altogether bit around 5th grade I discovered graphic novels, and a simple book like “the diary of a wimpy kid” brought me so much joy again. Soon after I began reading books without pictures and loved those too!

  7. I remember my mom teaching how to read spanish as a kid at home. At school I remember doing the jumbo books read aloud at the rug with my teacher and classmates. Books like “goodnight moon” ” harold and the purple crayon” “the hungry caterpillar”. The alphabet we learned as sounds no really letters.

  8. I don’t particularly remember how I began to learn how to read, but I do vaguely remember first learning to identify the letters in my own name. I also remember singing the ABC’s and looking at the alphabet laid out on posters more than being read alphabet books.

  9. I remember I was sharing one favorite alphabet book with my younger sister. I also remember I was teaching her as soon as I became able to read and write. In the Japanese language, we have to memorize about 2000 Chinese characters and its meaning from 1st grade aside from the Japanese alphabet (50 of them). The alphabet book was beautifully illustrated and funny that I still remember clearly.

  10. I remember learning how to read in school. I do not remember the exact details however, I distinctly remember pronouncing words and putting letters together to sound things out. I remember learning the alphabet at home through songs. When it came to reading, I remember there were reading levels assigned to you in my school. They tested your ability to read and placed a “letter” to which books you can read. The particular book I remember is Cloudy with a chance of meatballs. I remember being my teacher reading us this book in third grade.

  11. I remember learning how to read by looking at flashcards of the alphabet and listening to songs saying the alphabet. the catchy toon and the flashcards helped me remember what each letter sounded and looked like. This all started in kindergarten, but I think I started to first learn about the letter was at home from my parents who would buy me games and flashcards about the alphabet and try to teach me themselves. I was too young to actually remember especially at such a young age (3 years old). In kindergarten, after I started to understand what each letter stood for and how they sounded, I started to sound out small words which eventually helped me become stronger in my reading skills. A book that I remember reading over and over again that helped me was Clifford The Big Red Dog.

  12. Oh my gosh this goes way back! When I was in kindergarten, I remember being taught how to read by using my pointer finger and moving it along the line of the sentence in a book word for word. This helped me a lot and taught me not miss any part. I was also taught to read slowly. And as for learning the alphabet, I remember reading the book called Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and it was one of my favorites! If I wasn’t in school learning the alphabet, I would resort to that book for practice. I believe that is a great book to introduce letters to children

  13. I remember learning how to read in kindergarten and my teacher would ready a story for the class and then have us repeat after her every sentence in the book. As I got older, books were introduced more frequently and we did the individual reading. When it came to learning the alphabet, every week my teacher would focus on one letter and gives us projects, homework, and readings with the certain she chose for that specified week. One book I do remember clearly is reading Judy B.Jones.

  14. What I remember about learning how to read is that I learned by slowly sounding out letters in order to be able to say the word. I would read really slow and start out with smaller, easier words so that I can learn. I leaned my alphabet from books, toys and television. I would love to read books which had huge letters on them and show examples (by use of illustration) of words that begin with that letter. I also would play with toys that were bright in colors which were giant letters. Also, I would watch educational television (like sesame street) which would also teach me the different letters. A particular book I remember is the Hungry Little Caterpillar. I’m not sure why exactly, but I always loved this book. I think because of the illustrations and creativeness of such, I really gravitated towards it like many other children. When my teacher would read the book aloud, I feel like that definitely helped/ improved my reading skills.

  15. What I remeber learning is I had to sound out the word. I had trouble in learning how to read. I don’t really remember how I learn the alphabet but I do remember learning the Spanish alphabet though. I really don’t remember a book.

  16. From what I can remember as a child I learned to read through picture books when I entered daycare. As I grew up I remember learning to read also through audiobooks through a CD recorder and if the story was available we would follow along with the book. I learned the alphabet through those big letter posters and the teacher would point out the letters using a giant pointer. The story that I remember the most reading as a child was Amelia Bedelia, her stories were always funny and exciting to read to this day I always suggest my son read her stories.

  17. What I remember is picture books that usually have one word at a time and plenty of pictures. usually pictures hep u associate it with words. also hearing audios and watching cartoons based on the book help a lot.

  18. From what I remember, my mother would always repeat the Spanish alphabet to me until I knew it by heart. When I was in school, I would always loook at the picture books and relate it, it was kinda confusing for me since English alphabet doesn’t have the accented N. My sister always read the books and sang the song to me as well.

  19. As a child with foreign parents who were learning English at the same time as me, I can remember that It was always fun to learn the alphabet. We had these colorful flash cards with the letter and a picture on the back and we used to have competitions to see who knew more. When it came to learning to read I remember starting around kindergarden and first grade using many picture books.

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