Some forms of writing rely on illustrations to convey meaning. Think of an instruction manual or your car’s user manual. Visual aids are a powerful way to convey information.
Your child can learn a lot from integrating information from the text and the illustrations. Noticing the visual components in a text aids memorization and develops imagination.
The youngest of readers need visual aids to guide comprehension. When faced with unfamiliar vocabulary a photographer may help anchor the information. Consider a text describing bleaching polyps in coral reefs.
Including a picture helps readers visualize the appearance of the coral before bleaching occurs and compare that image to bleached coral. Words alone simply can’t convey these concepts.
Your child should describe what he sees in photographs and illustrations. Prompt your child to explain how the photograph matches with what they see in a text. These worksheets from Kids Academy are a quick way to get started.
Take these worksheets from Kids Academy as an example.
Use them to have your child point out the details in the illustrations that prove that they are towns or cities.
Ask if the photograph includes additional information that is not mentioned in the text. This may be your child’s first time answering inferential questions that require using background knowledge as a basis for an answer.
Wordless picture books are a great way to spark your child’s creativity. Children use their imagination to develop a storyline based on what they see in the pictures.
Present two captions for a photograph or two headings for a paragraph and ask which one matches. Here is an example of this activity on this worksheet from Kids Academy.
Make a poster for your child that lists text feature types. As you read nonfiction texts, have your child add the text features they find to the poster.
If you’re not sure where to start, Kids Academy has a list already prepared with recommended picture books to start with. Use the research-based resources with your child today.
By: Monica Edwards
English Language Arts Teacher, Curriculum Writer