Anecdotal evidence has been showing lately that visual arts in the classroom and at home make better readers and higher test scores. There lies a link between creating and visualization that helps children read better. The child retains the meaning of words and writes more detailed stories. Here is information and some tips to give both parents and teachers an inside track to easy artistic ways to develop children’s minds.
First, acknowledge the value of the picture book. As an adult, we still love to look at illustrations, whether it is in a poetry book or magazine article. We scan photos quickly on the internet. Children need to be reading. Picture books need not be simple. Today, there are books for advanced readers and grade levels that have intensive and challenging text combined with wonderful pictures.
Believe it or not, comic books can provide much stimulation to the brain of a child. The visual representation is always available. My husband has a large comic book collection that was residing in his mother’s basement, and he commented once that he could not wait to introduce our young son to them. At the time, I was convinced that the highbrow way was the only way to proceed with our son.
Over time, my son became very interested in pop culture. An avid Pokémon fan, he began picking these books at book fairs and bookstores, much to my chagrin. So I developed a system for every book he read that mom chose, he could read one of his own choosing. We moved from simple general character books to large Pokémon ‘data information catalogs.’ His knowledge of descriptive verbs and action words and what they actually mean has exploded! When I ask him where he has learned some of these monosyllabic words and phrases, the usual answer is from these colorful comical Pokémon guides.
The crossover has been amazing. He uses these words in his writing and is quick to recognize similar root words in the more meaningful books chosen by me. Moreover, he would never choose one of these books if it were not for …