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Ministry of Education.

Learning task 1: Introduction to static images

Static images

Teacher introduces the concept of Static Images:

  • Static images are literally visual images that do not move.
  • They include greeting cards, posters, slides, photographs, paintings, compact disc covers, comics, cartoons, charts, collages, models, dioramas, newspapers, and print advertisements.
  • Static images also include tableaux or silently sculptured images in drama, where students may create an image, as if in a freeze-frame, of arms, heads, legs, and trunks.
  • Many of these static images communicate by combining visual elements with words.
  • Although this interrelationship is very important, we can separate out the non-verbal features of static images and explore the language and meaning of all the visual as well as the verbal elements present in many different forms of communication.

Model of Communication

Teacher introduces a Model of Communication

  • Whether we listen and speak, read and write, or view and present, we participate in a very similar communication process.
  • When we receive information, we (the AUDIENCE) receive (MEDIUM) something (MEANING or MESSAGE) for reasons (PURPOSE) by some means (MODE of TRANSMISSION or form).
  • When we communicate, we (the ORIGINATOR) convey (MEDIUM) something (MEANING or MESSAGE) for someone (AUDIENCE) for our reasons (PURPOSE) by some means (MODE of TRANSMISSION or form).

    Reference: "Exploring Language - A Handbook for Teachers", published for the Ministry of Education by Learning Media Limited, Crown copyright 1996, p. 181

Students copy from Whiteboard or else are provided with a photocopy of the above.

Students convert the written text to an appropriate and effective Static Image which clearly communicates the content of the above model (A3 size)

Students, in groups of four, share individual images, discussing the effectiveness of each, and choosing the perceived "best" example.

Students justify their choice by identifying at least three features of the chosen image that contribute to the effectiveness of the image.

Groups present their "best choice" to the class, identifying the criteria that lead them to their choice.

Teacher records the various criteria on the whiteboard.

Teacher leads class discussion towards grouping of criteria into Key Features of Effective Static Images.

At this stage, students may become aware of the concepts of:
1. Clarity of Composition and Layout
2. Use of Space
3. Lettering Size and Style
4. Use of Colour for emphasis
5. Proportion according to significance of ideas
6. Relationship of ideas as denoted by proximity and visual cues e.g. lines, arrows, text boxes

A taxonomy of static images

Teacher provides students with an Introductory Taxonomy of Static Images, briefly explaining the concepts, and alerting students to their future exploration of the concepts.

  • When students are making choices in presenting their information and ideas, they need to take the following into account:
    1. Composition
    2. Balance
    3. Layout
    4. Lettering
    5. Size
    6. Style
    7. Font
    8. Spacing
    9. Shape
    10. Colour
    11. Depth
    12. Proportion
    13. The Use of Space
    14. The Technology used
  • Close reading and exploring the visual language in static images helps students to understand the ways they can combine verbal and visual elements effectively.

Published on: 07 Apr 2009