Sunday, October 4, 2009
Fun With Words - Spell with Flickr
Spell with Flickr is a simple way to focus on visual literacy. Once you follow the link, just type a word into the box marked "spell". Press the "spell" button and it grabs images from Flickr to represent each letter you typed. If you are not happy with a letter offered, simply click on it to change it. You can also copy the html code and embed it the way I did for the "fun with words" image I created.
This might be a useful device when kids are trying to come up with an interesting heading for a school project, especially if the project is in the communication area. It would work well for a digital project using something like Glogster.
How about taking the idea into the real world and taking your family on a letter or word walk? Have your kids keep a sharp eye out for letters on signs, ads and buildings and work out a way to collect them. Digital photos or a special sketch book would be fun. Discuss which signs you like, which ones work well, what impression you think the communicator was trying to create. Older kids might like to delve into illuminated letters. As a follow-up, have everyone design special letters for their own names. (There are some great examples at this Princeton art lesson.)
Focusing on visual literacy really increases our observation skills, and helps us to infer and make meaning from images. It's especially important to remember when we're discussing picture books with kids. That's one of the reasons I love picture books so much - there can be a whole sub theme and plot going on apart from the text. Wonderful!