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“Reading” Young Children's Visual Texts

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Author(s): Sylvia Pantaleo

Journal: Early Childhood Research & Practice
ISSN 1524-5039

Volume: 7;
Issue: 1;
Date: 2005;
Original page

Keywords: Early Childhood Education | Visual Literacy | Storytelling | Young Children | Reading

ABSTRACT
This article discusses a study that explored first-grade students' responses to and interpretations of eight picture books with metafictive devices. The article focuses on children's visual and written responses to the picture books and describes the relationship between the students' visual and verbal texts with respect to storytelling. The two main categories in a categorization scheme that describes text-image relationships in picture books—parallel storytelling and interdependent storytelling—were adapted to analyze the students' visual and written responses. Analysis of data revealed that for seven of the eight picture books, at least one-half of the children's visual and verbal texts were categorized as interdependent storytelling. Thus, to a certain extent, the children's images and text emulated the interdependent storytelling nature of the picture books used in the study. The article concludes with discussions about the value of viewing children's work as miniature ecosystems and the importance of developing children's visual literacy skills.
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