1st Edition

Visualising Literacy and How to Teach It A Guide to Developing Thinking Skills, Vocabulary and Imagination for 9-12 Year Olds

By Steve Bowkett, Tony Hitchman Copyright 2022
    190 Pages 45 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    190 Pages 45 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Technological advances and the way young people interact with them means children are thinking and processing information in an increasingly visual manner. Visualising Literacy and How to Teach It recognises that many, if not most, children are attracted to visual images and uses this as a basis for introducing and developing a range of thinking skills and strategies for learning. This practical resource offers a selection of visuals, each accompanied by activities that give children practice in using their imaginations in different ways.

    Visualising Literacy and How to Teach It not only explores creative and critical thinking skills but also pays close attention to the overarching thinking skill that we call imagination. The book contains around 150 practical activities that develop children’s imaginations, focussing on a range of thinking skills, including but not limited to the following:

    • developing observational/attentional skills
    • noticing details (focussing of attention)
    • assimilating visual information
    • increasing experience of inferential thinking, speculation, dealing with generalisations
    • boosting vocabulary
    • empowering one’s attitude towards exploring ideas
    • learning different questioning techniques
    • increasing the ability to empathise
    • becoming comfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity

    Many of the visualisation techniques can be applied to developing different aspects of emotional resourcefulness, including empathy, positive self-image, anchoring positive thoughts and modifying negative thoughts and feelings. This is, therefore, an essential resource for any teacher or education professional who is keen on developing children’s ability to think and express their own ideas.

    1. Using This Book and Introduction  2. Some Definitions3. Educational Benefits of Developing the Imagination  4. The Attitude  5. Mind Warmups  6. Picture Exploration – a Medley of Thinking Skills  7. Questioning with Confidence  8. Collecting Motifs  9. Colour Combinations  10. Subtle Distinctions  11. Sound Words  12. Submodalities  13. Step In – The Physical Dimension  14. What’s the Feeling  15. Two Anecdotes  16. Just Enough  17. Sensory Treasures  18. Spelling Strategies  19. Break State  20. Minimal Writing and Artful Vagueness  21. Cross-Matching Senses  22. Drawing Out Meaning  23. Point of View  24. Picture Masking  25. Beyond the Frame  26. Cinematic Method for Describing a Picture  27. Studying Pictures  28. Sensory Journey  29. Educational Value of the Sensory Journey  30. Vivid Particularities  31. Creative Conversations  32. Imagining Impossible Things  33. More Thought Experiments  34. Inspiration  35. A Medley of Visualisations  36. Reframing  37. Scrambletales  38. Linking Game  39. Descriptive Writing  40. Some Literary Devices for Descriptive Writing  41. Pictograms and Hieroglyphs  42. Letter Associations  43. Describing Phonemes  44. Interpreting Abstract Shapes  45. Venn Diagrams  46. Sliderman  47. Heads or Tails  48. Dice Journey  49. Controlling the Imagination  50. Tackling Text  51. Thoughts, Feelings, Memories and Dreams  25. Mindfulness 23. A Special Place  54. Imagination Beyond the Curriculum  References and Resources  Index


    Steve Bowkett taught secondary English for 20 years before becoming a full-time author. He has written fiction for adults and children of all ages, plus educational books on literacy, thinking skills, creativity, philosophy and emotional resourcefulness.

    Tony Hitchman has over 35 years of experience teaching throughout the primary age range in diverse schools culminating in 11 years as a primary headteacher. He has frequently collaborated with Steve Bowkett on books and projects to develop children’s literacy and creativity.