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Visual Literacy. Raising the writing levels of Boys in Year 4. Overview. Large inner-city school in Bordesley Green 98% EAL Start school a lot below average 58% SATs results Labelled ‘Hard to shift!”. Aims. Motivate, inspire, enthuse!

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visual literacy

Visual Literacy

Raising the writing levels of Boys in Year 4



Large inner-city school in Bordesley Green

98% EAL

Start school a lot below average

58% SATs results

Labelled ‘Hard to shift!”



Motivate, inspire, enthuse!

Improve their writing by motivating them write and want to improve

To raise self-confidence and self-esteem

To improve their speaking

and listening skills

life before visual literacy

Life before Visual literacy…

No because sometimes

I can’t think properly

No because my hand starts

to hurt and I don’t like literacy

Do you enjoy writing?

Why/why not?

Yes because

it keeps my brain working

No because my

hands ache

life after visual literacy

Life AFTER Visual literacy…

Yes, it helps you get

better at writing

Yes, because I am a

good writer

Do you enjoy writing?

Why/why not?

Yes because you

can get clever

Yes because you can put


Imagination on paper

the march of the penguins
The March of the Penguins

Used it for:

  • Different styles of poetry
      • Acrostic poems
  • Non-fiction writing
      • Making a fact book to read to reception children
the march of the penguins1
The March of the Penguins

Techniques used:

  • Sequencing slides
  • Zones of relevance
  • Non-fiction writing
  • Fact files
  • Researching
  • Hotseating
  • Philosophy for children (p4c)
the march of the penguins2
The March of the Penguins
  • Initially sceptical as thought they might not be stimulating enough!
  • How wrong could I be!
  • Retained far more information about penguins than I ever expected (even now!)
  • A: “I liked March of the penguins

cos when they have a baby they

pass it to the mother and when it

be’s cold the dad keeps it in a

warm place.”

the iron giant1
The Iron Giant
  • Sequencing
  • Hearts and minds
  • Diary entries
  • Philosophy for children (P4c)
  • Comparisons with the book
  • Zone of relevance
the iron giant2
The Iron Giant
  • Before Visual literacy:

“My character has a AK47 Gund he is really Sad. Got a feather on his cloths. He is very angry. Is gonna shoot someone. Dark green head. Green and dark black eyes.”

the iron giant3
The Iron Giant
  • AFTER Visual literacy:

“Wow! What a day! Mums at work so I could stay up late as I can as I was watching t.v. Suddenly the power of the t.v went off so then I went outside to look. I carried on looking to see what had happened. Then I saw a big giant. I got scared as he was getting electrocuted by the wires. Then I went to switch off the electricity…I got really scared of the giant he had a big ugly lump on his head…”

  • ALL the children seem to have an increased motivation to Literacy
  • Quickly become engrossed in an activity and always on-task
  • Improvements in:
      • Speaking and listening
      • Inference and deduction
      • Group work
      • Note-taking, re-drafting etc.
      • Self-esteem
whats next
Whats next…
  • “Hard to shift!”
  • Year 5: The Piano
  • Over the hedge: Year 4
  • Visual Literacy week
  • Continuing to motivate all the children in the class with Visual literacy!