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Image-Making Within the Writing Process




Evidence of Effectiveness:


·         Research findings based on analytic scoring of writing samples demonstrate that the writing skills of participating students dramatically improve, particularly in the areas of topic selection, plot development, sense of story-craft, use of descriptive language, and overall imagination.  The program also enhances students= abilities to express ideas through the dynamic interweaving of word and picture images as compared to non-participating students.


·         This program has been validated by the National Diffusion Network for students in grades 1-2; however, it has been successfully implemented in grades K-12.


·         University of New Hampshire – Laboratory for Interactive Learning


The study involved 555 first- and second-grade students from 13 schools in 3 different states:  New Hampshire, Hawaii, and Texas.  Because of evidence that demonstrates that success in developing literacy skills during the primary years is crucial to success throughout one’s school career, first and second grade students were targeted for this study.  Sites were selected to insure that participating students represented a range of achievement levels, socio-economic levels, and geographic regions.  The treatment group was comprised of 16 classes of students who participated in Picturing Writing and Image-Making as a year-long Language Arts program.  The comparison group was comprised of 12 classes of students who were participating in the Language Arts program that was currently being used in their classroom. 




1.       A distinct difference was found between groups, with the treatment group clearly demonstrating stronger qualities of sense of setting, beginning, middle, end, plot development, use of descriptive language, voice, and overall quality of writing.  This was true for both grades one and two.


2.       A distinct difference was found between treatment and comparison groups with the treatment group demonstrating a heightened ability to express their ideas through the use of visual elements of color, texture, shape, detail, composition, sequence, and overall use and quality of visual information.  This held true for both grades one and two. 


Program Description:


Image-Making Within the Writing Process operates in the classroom as part of the language arts program.  Recognizing individual learning styles, the program defines all children as author/illustrators and draws young writers into a rich creative process using work and picture images to create outstanding published books.  Children employ reading, writing, and oral language skills necessary to the development of literacy, gain access to visual and kinesthetic modes of thinking which serve to heighten their conceptualization process, and engage in higher level problem-formulating and problem-solving activities.


Through a series of process-oriented art activities, each child begins by creating a portfolio of hand-painted textured papers.  These textured papers are used by the class to brainstorm Adescribing words@ as well as to spark story ideas through free association.  As children=s imaginations are awakened, discovered creatures and settings become rich resources for imaginative stories.  Children find stories hidden in their textured papers.  When it is time for the children to begin the process of putting ideas down on paper, they are purposely not directed toward either writing first or making pictures first.  Because verbal as well as visual modes of thinking are equally valued, your author/illustrators are given the license to follow their own creative process in story-making.  In this way, they approach writing from a position of personal strength and enthusiasm. 


Textured papers then become the raw materials for building colorful collage images.  As children weave together story images in pictures and words, stories unfold through a lively, interactive creative process.  As stories evolve, children are taught how to Aread@ their collage images in order to increase descriptive detail and literary language in their writing.  Collage images also provide a concrete tool for revision.  As a result, completed published books are highly evolved in story line, descriptive language, and visual expression. 


Correlation to Nevada State Standards


Currently being completed.


Teacher Support:


Teacher-training for Image-Making Within the Writing Process is divided into two separate workshops:


·         Picturing Writing: Fostering Literacy Through Art - Training will lead teachers through a simple progression of art-and-literature-based mini-lessons which build a foundation of understanding regarding sense of setting, beginning, middle, end, plot development, character development, and use of descriptive language.  A comprehensive slide show will detail classroom practices.  Classroom modeling techniques and management tips will be woven throughout the two-days.


·         Image-Making Within The Writing Process: Constructing Stories Through Collage - Training will provide teachers with the necessary tools to allow students to culminate their experience as artists and writers using a very dynamic collage technique.  This unique collage process builds directly on the skills students have acquired through Picturing Writing: Fostering Literacy Through Art.


A Complete Implementation Package is available which includes all of the materials necessary to implement the program in a classroom of 25 children.


Equipment Requirements:


The Complete Implementation Package - a 40-pound box which includes all the materials necessary to implement the program.* 


*School-wide or multi-classroom kits can be individually designed to reduce costs.




·         Teacher-Training Fee Structure (fees include a complete set of instructional materials and all the art materials used during the workshop):


   Two Days  Three Days                    Four Days                    Five Days


$250/participant       $325/participant             $425/participant             $500/participant


·         Classroom Art Materials


Complete Implementation              Mini Kit                       Complete Picturing Writing

           Kit                                                                                     Kit


             $250/box                            $95/box                         $295/box


For Information Contact:


Liz Arcieri or Beth Olshansky

Laboratory of Interactive Learning

University of New Hampshire

Thompson Hall, 105 Main Street

Durham, NH 03824-3547

Phone: (603) 862-3691

     (603) 659-6018


Current Location in Nevada:


Clark County School District

West Middle School

2050 Sapphire Stone

Las Vegas, NV 89106

Contact:  Andre Denson

Phone:  (702) 799-3121