Date of Award

Spring 4-24-2015

Document Type

Education 530 Project

Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Gardner, Roberta P.

Major or Concentration

Elementary Education


This research considered how visuals in postmodern picturebooks influenced first graders' insights and understandings about characters and characterization. Unlike traditional picturebooks, postmodern picturebooks have the potential to engage students with visual images as well as the text. However, because of the complex visual representations, codes, and literary devices within postmodern picturebooks, teachers must take the time to explicitly teach students to navigate these picturebooks to promote not only visual literacy but, most importantly, higher-order thinking skills (HOT). This action research was conducted in a first grade class where fourteen students participated in focus groups and follow-up activities including open-ended questions, writing and drawings. The goal of this qualitative research was to explore the ways in which literary understanding and reading comprehension were influenced when aspects of visual literacy were explicitly taught. Overall, results from the present study suggest that children can read and comprehend images more accurately and efficiently when they are explicitly taught how to interpret specific visual elements of art and design in postmodern picturebooks.

Included in

Education Commons