Visual Literacy

Brain-hand connectivity, automaticity, and visual literacy are the building blocks for success in the classroom and beyond. Previously, the past two building block sections introduced the science behind connecting children to their hands. When handwriting is made automatic, elaboration, generation of ideas, and improvements in writing occur. Another learning tool for success you will read about today is visual literacy.

Visual literacy is the tool we use to prompt brain-hand connectivity and develop automaticity. We define visual literacy as:

“the ability to comprehend and communicate through imagery”

Children with much enthusiasm can be taught a visual vocabulary they can build on for the rest of their lives. Our research-based curriculum develops fine motor skills, creativity, and problem solving skills in our drawing lessons. Drawing is a fun way to activate the brain and work on fine motor skills. Additionally, drawing is also a great mnemonic device, meaning it is great for memory. Because it takes time for children to become fluent and proficient with getting words down on paper, being able to represent meaning through images is a great way for them to express their ideas. When children make illustrations they are able to draw connections between what they know and what they don’t know. Representing meaning in pictures opens up a jar of possibilities for beginning writers. In our experience, kids love to tell their stories; they just need the tools to express themselves.

Visual Literacy in Historic Writers

Visual literacy has a long history as a tool of expression. Before languages, cave images told stories. Writers have often used images for inspiration and creativity. For example, the author of “War and Peace” Dostoyefsky, Tolstoy and other famous Russian authors such as Pushkin all drew in the margins of their manuscripts. The notebooks of these famous authors are filled with images. These famous writers thought in pictures. Shown below, the authors manuscripts display how visual literacy aided their creativity and writing process.

Russian author of "War on Peace" demonstrates visual literacy by drawing in the margins of his work

I hope you’ve enjoyed our 4-part series exploring the key terms that make up the building blocks we’ve used to create our multiple curricula. With this in mind, a child in our programs learns brain-hand connectivity, automaticity, and visual literacy skills through fun step-by-step drawing lessons. Though the proper development of foundational tools, kids are better able to express themselves and explore opportunities to create, connect with, and discover the world.


~Caleigh Cramer and Miss WEndy


Missed the beginning of the series? Check out:

“Helping Kids Better Express Themselves: Intro”

“Building Block 1: Brain-Hand Connectivity”

“Building Block 2: Automaticity”

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