Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.
Check out our collection of strategy guides to find effective literacy teaching and learning strategies to use in your classroom.
Journal > The Reading Teacher
Semiotic Representations: Building Complex Literacy Practices Through the Arts
by Kay Cowan and Peggy Albers
|Grades||3 – 5|
Learning to write well often proves to be one of the most difficult areas in the English language arts for young children. However, in these fourth- and fifth-grade language arts classrooms, children are offered opportunities to explore, think through, and express meaning across and within sign systems—in particular, using art, drama, and language. Children engage in arts- and language-based lessons and develop semiotic texts that are richly complex and imaginatively descriptive. Within the teacher's semiotic approach to literacy instruction, children develop habits in strategy use and knowledge of and practice in sign systems, both of which help them develop strong literacy practices. Once such experiences become habits of mind, students develop new insights into their own writing, creating, and talking about their texts, as well as the composing process.
Cowan, K., & Albers, P. (2006, October). Semiotic Representations: Building Complex Literacy Practices Through the Arts. The Reading Teacher, 60(2), 124–137. doi: 10.1598/RT.60.2.3
Grades 9 – 12 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
Students add up the effect of images and persuasive language to analyze the art and words in advertisements.