In Pictures and In Words – 2nd Takeaway – Technique 2 – Crafting with positioning perspective

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Ray says that “illustrations have positioning perspective:  a central image may be pictured from the front, the back, the side, above, or below.”  She used Bob Graham’s How to Heal a Broken Wing as an illustration example as it shows various positioning perspectives to, one showing that there is a camera in the ceiling of the room and the reader is looking down on the scene.  The takeaway is that illustrators must make early decisions as to what position he or she will picture the central image in the illustration.

After sharing the book and explaining front, back side, above and below to first grade, Zyra decided to write about her doll baby, Eleanor.  She painted a stick figure without hands or feet made of yellow and left this for a day.  The next day, we talked about the picture and I asked her what kind of clothes she was wearing and she quickly grabbed a paintbrush and made the organize dress.  I asked if she had feet and she drew blue circles.  In the end she added the baby doll, which was interesting as that was the heart of the picture.

In this case, I learned that more modeling would have really helped this child.  Creating an anchor chart would have provided a good beginning for her.  Also, asking questions as Ray suggests (p. 102)  such as:  “how would the picture look different from a different angle?”  or “where were you in this picture?” or “how would this picture look different if you were sitting in a tree looking at Zyra playing with her doll baby?”

Even with these additions, her work contained significantly more detail in both her spelling and stamina throughout the lesson.

Ray, K.W. (2010). In pictures and in words: Teaching the qualities of good writing through illustrative study. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

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