The Visual Language of Picture Books is a sequence of four lessons for Grades 2 to 5 explaining how picture book illustrations tell a story. Just as the words have their own grammar, pictures also have a ‘visual grammar’ which helps to tell a story. To understand the visual language of an illustration, children need to learn the grammar of the pictures, including color, line, and viewpoint.
This unit uses popular picture books and includes questions and activities that encourage deeper thinking about visual story-telling. It is closely aligned with ELA/RL standards relating to illustrations and visual story-telling. The unit is based on my experience as a published picture book author and my university study of children's literature.
Introduction: What is Visual Language?
• Lesson One: Shared Reading
• Lesson Two: Illustration Choice
• Lesson Three: Color
• Lesson Four: Line
• Advanced: Thinking Critically