Visual Literacy

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Merriam- Webster defines visual literacy as "the ability to recognize and understand ideas conveyed through visible actions or images."


Due to monumental technological advancements, visual literacy is an essential aspect of how literacy is incorporated into our world today.


It is important that learners are able to recognize, interpret, and appreciate ideas and information presented in visual formats such as:

charts, graphic novels, icons, multimodal texts, symbols, timeline, and websites.


Often times, students will not develop proficient visual literacy skills independently; therefore, visual literacy is best taught through intentional and explicit instruction.


An effective strategy for teaching visual literacy is having learners participate in whole group or small group think-clouds regularly.


Here is an example of using the think-aloud strategy when teaching visual literacy:

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Learners would have time to view the photo and write down answers to these questions independently. Learners would then participate in group discussions to extend the learning.



  • What’s going on in this picture?
  • What do you see that makes you say that?
  • What more can you find?