Friday, June 29, 2012

In Picture and In Words: Chapter 7

This week we took a look at Chapter 7, which shows ways you can use illustrations to teach ideas and content.  Each technique is formatted like this:

1. Something to Notice-Names the illustrative technique

2. Illustrative Example-Provide an example of what this looks like in a picture book.

3. An Understanding for Young Writers and Illustrators-Involves the kind of thinking you might do with the technique.

4. In a Teacher's Voice: An Idea for Trying it Out-This is just what it says. There is a little script that you might use when discussing the use of this technique with your students,

5. A Writing Connection-This section helps make the composing connection between writing and illustrating.

I’m going to share just a few of the techniques mentioned, and picture books I found that are good examples of the technique. This was a little challenging to me since I’m home for the summer and have no access to the books in my classroom, but I have a pretty good stack of kids books in my garage so here is what I came up with!

Technique #2: Crafting with Positioning Perspective
“Illustrations have positioning perspective: a central image may be picture from the front, the back, the side, above or below. “
I love this image from the book “The Paper Bag Princess”. He has pictured Elizabeth and the dragon from the side so that you can see both their expressions upon meeting one another. Had it been from either characters point of view, you would have missed out on the others.

Technique #3: Crafting the Background
“The central image in an illustration may have lots of background behind it, just a little, or hardly any at all.”
Here are two examples that stand in stark contrast to one another. The first is from “Blueberries for Sal” You see little more than Sal and the blueberry bushes. Likely because to young Sal, that’s all he sees and is focused on.

Compare it to this scene from “Paul Bunyan” which has a whole lot going on in the background to give you a sense of the mayhem that came with Paul’s size.

Technique #4: Showing two sides of a physical space
“An illustration may show two sides of a physical space simultaneously: inside and outside; above and below”
Here are two examples. The first is from “The Paperboy” You can see both inside and outside the house to see that it is nighttime and the boy is sleeping. On the next page, you have the same view and can see that it is still night time, but the boy is up and getting ready,  indicating that he gets up very, very early to do his job.

This next picture is from the book “Hurricane”. In my opinion, every Florida teacher should own this book because it teaches kids to use their imaginations and turn a scary situation into an adventure.
You can see inside the house where it is relatively calm, and also outside where the wind has picked up and the rain has started.

I’m assuming the illustrator wanted to use this technique and that’s why his picture doesn’t include hurricane shutters. In any real hurricane shutters would be covering that window and you wouldn’t be able to see outside at all!

Technique #5: Using Scenes to show different actions
“Small, separate scenes show different actions”
This picture from “Tacky the Penguin” shows several different scenes in which you see tacky doing different actions.

Technique #7: Using Scenes to show movement through different places
“Small, separate scenes an show movement through different places”
This picture from “Jaime O’Rourke and the Big Potato” show different scenes of the potato rolling down the hill, across the street, and through town.

What did you notice in this week’s study? 
Make Sure to link up with Mrs. Wills!!


  1. Thanks for sharing your book selections. I didn't think of the stories and I know I have some of them and I love the Paper Bag Princess.

    The Very Busy Kindergarten

  2. I am so glad you mentioned Paperboy! One of my favorite books and the illustrations are wonderful! I also love Hurricane... I pinned them and will add your book suggestions to the list. Thank you for linking up!

    Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

  3. oh, you have given me so many great books! i was stuck on good books for a few of these techniques and you post was so helpful! thanks a million. you rock. come by and say hi if you get a moment. i hope i had some good books to suggest too.
    Carole Dawn

  4. Hi Rachelle!

    I wanted to let you know that I added your blog to my new list of blogs at Kindergarten Network. Stop by sometime and check it out when you have a chance. Be sure to let me know if I left out any details you would like to be added.

    Lil' Country Kindergarten
    Kindergarten Network