Visual Literacy

What is visual literacy?

Visual literacy is the ability to construct meaning from images.

In a world that is filled with images of news, advertising, social media, and technology, we are inundated with images. According to research, 90% of the information received by the brain is visual. The brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. Visual literacy is necessary to process the world around us.

What is a primary source?

A primary source is the raw material of history, created in the time of study.

A primary source includes but is not limited to: a photograph, a letter, a map, a manuscript, a sheet of music, an interview, a newspaper article, a painting, a drawing, a book, a video clip, an infographic, a document, and a cartoon. Primary sources give you the opportunity to be in that time in history from the comfort of today. Reading a letter from a WWI soldier or analyzing an article from the communist newspaper The Daily Worker creates a framework of knowledge that will spark the curiosity for more learning.

Primary Source Analysis in the Curriculum

The majority of our students in K-12 education were born in this century. They have grown up in a visual society. They are perceptive, digital natives who can learn a great deal from images when given the opportunity. Through the process of examination, students create valuable background knowledge that prepares them for the 21st century where they are expected to be users and creators of information.



Gutierrez, Karla. “Studies Confirm the Power of Visuals in ELearning.” SHIFT ELearning. n.p., 8 July 2014. Web. 02 Nov. 2016.

Kennedy, Brian. “Visual Literacy: Why We Need It.” TEDxTalks. n.p., 26 May 2010. Web. 02 Nov. 2016. Click Here to view website.

Pant, Ritu. “Visual Marketing: A Picture’s Worth 60,000 Words.” Business 2 Community Visual Marketing: A Picture’s Worth 60000 Words Comments. n.p., 16 Jan. 2015. Web. 02 Nov. 2016. Click Here to view website.