Visual Literacy with under 7s

Or, to use normal-person-speak not education jargon – writing about films. My children love watching films and so does their father and it gives me a couple of hours off-duty whenever he takes them to the cinema. As we are both from largish families, when we had our own children we wanted to give each child quality time by themselves so Christian usually takes them separately on Daddy-daughter, or Daddy-son, dates. Obviously they absolutely love it and Jude in particular, being a very visual child, will role-play film characters for weeks afterwards. We watched Puss-in-Boots as a Family Film Night and both the children have quoted so much of the dialogue in their play that Mae has started to copy them. The other day she woke up in our bed and we knew she was awake because we heard her say a line from the film in a little sleepy voice – “Si, I can commit.”

Jude was Puss in Boots all this Summer and even ran his races on our Homeschoolers Sports Day wearing his hat. Fortunately for everyone else attending that event, we had already won the argument about wearing clothes (Jude insisted Puss in Boots didn’t, we insisted that he must if anyone else was in the house, or, if we were going out!).

Puss in Boots

Well, a couple of weeks ago Jude went on a Daddy-son date to see the new Disney film, Brave.

I was painting the shed when they got back and I could tell he was excited because he jumped out of the car and shouted, “Mummy, I need a blue dress!” Then he dashed inside and came back out with a bow and arrow and repeated his demand. So he’s been Merida for the last couple of weeks, only Cana likes being Merida too so they take it in turns with the dress.

Merida from ‘Brave’

I decided it would a great thing if I could capture some of this enthusiasm and use it in our ‘work’ sessions, which are reading and writing focussed and last an hour every week-day morning. So I asked the children if they would like to draw some pictures and tell me about the film, as I haven’t seen it yet. They were delighted, Jude immediately sat down and got out the felt-tips and Cana exlaimed spontaneously, “Oh thank you Mummy for choosing that!” They decided they wanted to make a book about the film and spent a few days excitedly drawing and writing. And this is what they did…

Brave has a bow and arrow, on her birthday she has a new bow and arrow.(Jude)

(From the bottom up) Brave’s little brothers run to their daddy. (Jude)

Cana’s picture of the brothers running away.

Cana’s writing. (They decided together what they wanted to write about)

When the witch gives Brave the cake, Brave’s mummy ate the cake then Brave’s mummy turned into a bear. (Jude) – I decided lines might help Jude to orientate his writing correctly.

Cana’s picture.

A slightly more detailed retelling by Cana.

When the witch gives Brave the cake, the witch gets in a pot. (Jude)

The witch’s face in the fire, by Cana.

A paragraph by Cana, without any capital letters.

Brave ripped her mummy’s picture, then Brave’s mummy put Brave’s bow and arrow in the fire. (Jude)

I still don’t really know what ‘Brave’ is about but I’m very impressed with their independent writing and the children enjoyed this project so much we will definitely be doing more Visual Literacy.


About helenshomeschool

A mummy and a teacher. Enjoying teaching my own three children. Hoping to inspire other parents to do likewise. View all posts by helenshomeschool

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