Tag Archives: Arts 4 Learning

Visual Learners

2 Jun

I am many things, but I am not a visual learner. I’m a verbal/linguistic learner. I find visuals helpful at times, but I prefer to listen and read . It helped me be a successful student way back in the dark ages when the only visuals we had were those  roll up wall maps and films.

As a teacher, I’ve had to develop my visual side, because most of my kids benefit when they see what I mean. I taught an Arts 4 Learning unit that had kids creating statues before they wrote. it was wonderfully empowering for my beginning ELL students who don’t yet have the vocabulary for the ideas in their heads.

This year, when I was teaching a friend to knit, she asked if she could take a little video on her phone so she would;t forget how to do things when she got home.

So, when I came across how to, written and illustrated by Julie Morstad, I was excited and impressed, and my mind celebrated the possibilities the book presented for my students.


They could write the “how to” of one of the pages. They could use the book to help them find subjects to write about. They could use the pattern of the book to draw before writing. Gone are the boring days of writing “how to make a peanut butter sandwich”, although I never went that route to begin with. From here, kids can be inspired about things they really know how to do.

Each page begins with the simple text “how to” and then tells you what the page shows you how to do. Here is “how to go fast”


The illustrations have an old-fashioned feel to them, although they are perfectly modern.  The multiracial  characters demonstrate how to do things on single and double page spreads where the visual is the focus.There are no initial capitals and no punctuation so it feels as thought there is time to think and discuss.

I have 8 days of kinder ELD to teach and this book will be part of those 8 days.

how to feels like a Caldecott contender.

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