Mount Saint Mary College’s Collaborative for Equity in Literacy Learning (CELL) hosted a professional development institute for educators last month, detailing the Picturing Writing literacy technique.
Mount Education professors Janine Bixler and Rebecca Norman taught the workshop over the course of about a week, introducing teachers to the Picturing Writing process via Time of Day and Weather Units.
To a casual observer, it might look like an art class. But Picturing Writing is a dynamic art-and-literature-based approach to writing designed to meet the literacy needs of all students, particularly those with diverse learning styles.
Through the use of hands-on art experiences, the study of quality picture books, and an ongoing artist/writers workshop, Picturing Writing gives students access to multiple modalities for thinking and expressing their ideas. It can be used to address English language arts core standards in a way that reaches a wide range of learners, and is easily integrated into the social studies and science curriculum.
Established in 2012, CELL provides tutoring and out-of-school literacy activities for children pre-school to grade 12 with a focus on reading, conversation, and activities. It explores multicultural books, offers family literacy programs, and more. Each semester, Mount teacher candidates, graduate and undergraduate, help instill a love of reading in local youth as part of their community fieldwork requirement.
Mount literacy programs are held in the Newburgh Armory Unity Center on Saturday mornings, with other educational events hosted on weekdays. Special classes, such as Family Literacy Night, are held throughout the year.