Why Are We Here?

Eye on Literacy - Elsie Johnson

Elsie Johnson

As a classroom teacher, acknowledging and validating the rich life experiences of the learners has always provided valuable content and meaningful learning to my lessons. In turn, creating a supportive class environment where students feel accepted and become a partner in the learning process.

Eye on Literacy books have been developed to help the emerging reader who up to this point in time has come from a world with limited print. Their exchange of information relied on their engagement with the visual, auditory, and tactile world of the 3-dimensional. In a classroom setting, that exchange of information often narrows to a 1-dimensional form. The learners must begin to construct understanding from images and text on paper. I began to explore the use of visuals in the classroom and quickly discovered that I was not satisfied with the minimal selection of resources available; often black and white sketched images. I felt the students deserved more authentic visuals. I then created my own books by spending hours locating colorful photos in calendars, magazines, posters, and images from the Internet.

Eye on Literacy was created so I can share my beliefs on the importance of visual literacy as the starting point for oral language development and classroom practice. By providing educators with high quality, adult picture books, my hope is that others will embrace this learning process that will help their students bring reading to life in their new language.

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